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On the hard-to-pin-down nature of charter schools

Are charter schools public schools? Or are they something else? Teachers College doctoral candidate Alexander Hoffman has been tackling these questions in the GothamSchools community section.

Last week, Hoffman argued that contrary to the claims of charter school advocates, charter schools aren’t actually public schools. Today, he’s responding to numerous challenges he received in the comments section — challenges that he says haven’t changed his mind.

Hoffman writes:

While charter schools are clearly not traditional private schools, by design they are not like traditional public schools, either. Even if we acknowledge that there are differences between different charter schools, and between charter school laws, neither of these terms seem appropriate. … This leaves us with a need for a third term, as neither “public” or “private” would be appropriate.

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