Center for Education Reform Releases Survey of America's Charter Schools

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Survey Reveals Growth has Not Kept Pace to Meet Demand

On Thursday January 30, 2014, The Center for Education Reform (CER) released its Survey of America’s Charter Schools, a study performed since 1996 that has become the most reliable and detailed view of the environment and conditions in which public charter schools operate.

“While the number of new charter options continues to climb at a moderate pace, this incremental growth is not keeping pace with expanding demand for access to schools that meet each student's individual needs,” said Theodor Rebarber, co-author of the 2014 Survey of America’s Charter Schools.

“As parent- and educator-driven reform, charter schools could be playing a larger, more central role in addressing the national education crisis,” said Alison Consoletti Zgainer, co-author of the 2014 survey and CER Executive Vice President.

This most recent analysis offers trends over time and insight as to why these independent schools are in such high demand. A preview of key findings from the 2014 Annual Survey of America’s Charter Schools:

  •     Charter sector growth is proportionately higher in states with stronger laws. 335 charter schools opened in states rated “A” and “B,” while only 13 campuses opened in states rated “D” or “F.”
  •     The average number of students on charter school wait lists has increased by 44 students since 2009. Put into context, districts like New York City calculate upwards of 50,000 students on charter school waiting lists.
  •     Over half of America’s charter schools (61%) serve a student population where over 60% are considered low-income or disadvantaged.

Authors of the study, Theodor Rebarber, CEO of AccountabilityWorks, and Alison Consoletti Zgainer, CER’s Executive Vice President, are available for comment as well as CER president Kara Kerwin. Members of the media should contact CER Communications Director Michelle Tigani at 301-986-8088 or michelle(at)edreform(dot)com to set up interviews.

Click here to read Survey of America's Charter Schools.


CER, since 1993, is the leading voice and advocate for lasting, substantive, and structural education reform in the U.S. Additional information about the Center and its activities can be found at

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Michelle Tigani
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