A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998

Objective 1.6. Greater public school choice will be available to students and families.


Context: Research suggests that public school choice fosters a sense of ownership among school staff, students, and parents that promotes successful efforts toward common goals. Public school choice can encourage greater flexibility in school offerings to address the needs of families and communities, while maintaining accountability for students meeting challenging state standards of performance. According to a 1993 survey of parents, approximately 12 percent of all U.S. students in grades 3-12 attended a public school that their families chose. Public school choice operates through a variety of mechanisms, including charter schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies, and postsecondary options. The Department of Education supports the expansion of public school choice primarily through its Public Charter Schools Program and Magnet Schools Assistance Program.

Key strategies for FY 1999

Coordination

Programs supporting this objective

Grants supporting magnet and charter schools
  • Magnet Schools Assistance Program
  • Public Charter Schools Program
Research
  • Statistics and Assessment
Technical assistance and dissemination
  • Comprehensive Regional Assistance Centers
  • Title IV (Civil Rights Act) Centers

Selected performance indicators and charts

The Department of Education measures its progress toward meeting the objective of increased public school choice availability by, among other indicators, tracking the percent of students in public schools of choice and the number of charter schools in operation across the country.

By 2002, 25% of all public school students in grades 3-12 will attend a school that they or their parents have chosen. (Goal 1, indicator 35)

Indicator background and context. The growth in charter schools, magnet schools and other public school choice strategies will result in increasing percentages of students enrolled in such schools.

Data source. National Household Survey, 1993 and 2002.

By 2002 there will be 3,000 charter schools in operation around the nation. (Goal 1, indicator 37)

Indicator background and context. The number of charter schools operating nationwide has been growing rapidly since the first charter school opened in 1992. Currently, there are roughly 750 charter schools in operation, and this pace is expected to continue.

Data source. RPP report A Study of Charter Schools: First Year Report (1997) and projected estimates of the number of charter schools that can be expected to start up in states with charter school legislation.

Verification/validation of performance measures: Information sources include an independent evaluation of the Public Charter Schools Program as well as the National Study of Charter Schools, a nationally representative study conducted by RPP International. Additionally, two periodic and rigorously designed Department data collections--the Schools and Staffing Survey and the National Household Education Survey--will be used.

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