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Charter Schools In the United States primary and secondary public school education undergoes continual monitoring and discussion by government leaders educators and parents According to a survey by the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 1994 39 percent of fourth graders 37 percent of eighth graders and 36 percent of twelfth graders scored below average on basic skills assessment tests in the United States Finn Ravitch 22-24 News coverage also tends to continuously broadcast that the United States lags behind global peers in pre-college education For this reason parents governments and educators are constantly searching for new ways to improve and overcome learning obstacles in education One of the new concepts emerging is the charter school In the United States the charter school was modeled after Margaret Thatchers idea of a public school operating independently while being funded by grants A similar concept currently exists for all public education in New Zealand Finn et al 48-52 In 1992 after the first charter law was passed Minnesota opened City Academy based on this concept The charter focused on recruiting and teaching high school drop-outs Buechler 60-63 All charter schools including this first one are based on certain guidelines Charters are created by normal citizens desiring to fill a specific need in their area or to implement a new teaching method The administration and teaching operate independently from most local school board rules and funds are used only within the charter school Any business parent teacher or group may apply to open a charter provided they are not religiously affiliated or a private school already A charter need only to submit paperwork outlining a curriculum sponsor and a place of operation plus the goals they expect in their students Local or state school boards then have the option to approve or disapprove of the charter If the charter idea is accepted the charter may begin
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