August 17, 2004 Extra Credit
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August 17, 2004

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True/False on Charter Schools

True or False: Charter schools are not held accountable under No Child Left Behind in the same way as other public schools.

Answer: False.

Under No Child Left Behind, charter schools are held to the same accountability standards for raising student achievement as all other public schools.
Charter schools are beneficial because they provide parents with an alternative to the traditional public school system, enabling them to find a school that best addresses the needs of their child. Although charter schools operate outside the traditional system, they are still held accountable. The accountability provisions and other requirements of No Child Left Behind must be applied to charter schools in accordance with the states' charter school laws. State-authorized chartering agencies, as established by the individual state laws, are responsible for ensuring that charter schools meet the accountability and testing provisions of NCLB.

No Child Left Behind's accountability provisions apply to charter schools.

  • Students in charter schools that do not meet state defined adequate yearly progress (AYP) benchmarks for two years in a row are entitled to transfer to a higher performing school.
  • After the third year of not meeting state standards, low-income students in charter schools have the right to free tutoring services.
  • After the fourth year of not meeting standards, charter schools, like traditional public schools, are placed under corrective action. This may include reorganizing the charter school's management.

The U.S. Department of Education recently issued updated guidance on the impact of No Child Left Behinds' requirements on charter schools, including details on accountability requirements. It is available online.


About Extra Credit
NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/17/2004