Choosing the right school is important for obvious reasons. Parents want their children to learn the skills necessary to grow and mature. Sometimes the options for schools are limited or even nonexistent depending on district lines and location. But with the growth of Atlanta charter schools in recent years, parents have more options and more control over their child’s education.

So what is a charter school? A charter school is an independent institution that is sponsored, usually by a state or local school board. Unlike other schools, these charter schools have contracts which detail the school’s mission, goals, assessments and measurements of success. These contracts also grant the schools freedom from the regulations of traditional public schools. Because of this autonomy, charter schools are free to determine how they teach children. This also makes them more accountable to their sponsors, the parents and the public that provides funding.

In Atlanta and the surrounding area, charter schools are being recognized for their outstanding performance. University Community Academy, a K-8 school in Atlanta, is one of the state’s highest performing Title I schools. The school has made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), the national measure of student performance, for six consecutive years. At DeKalb PATH Academy, students have made AYP for four consecutive years. Overall, 81.1 percent of all charter schools in Georgia made AYP in 2009 compared to 79.1 of traditional public schools.

With 120 charter schools and nearly 65,000 students in attendance, it is clear that Georgians want innovation and choice in their schools. But innovation is nothing without performance, and charter schools have the numbers to back up their growth. So for parents looking for choices, find out if there is a charter school in your area. For more information about charter schools, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *