Fact or Fiction: Charter Schools

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Charter schools are steadily growing in popularity, although they remain controversial. Why are they so appealing -- and why are some so opposed to the concept? Separate charter school fact from fiction with our quiz.

New Orleans is the only city in the U.S. where the majority of students attend charter schools.

After Hurricane Katrina, a district-wide reform movement led to charter schools teaching more students than the traditional public school system in New Orleans.


You have to pay tuition to attend a charter school.

Charter schools are primarily funded by tax payers, and any student can attend a charter school free of charge as long as he or she meets the school's admission requirements.


If a charter school has more applicants than spaces available, a lottery is used to determine who gets in.

The lotteries to get into popular, successful charter schools can be nerve-wracking. In fact, a film called "Waiting for Superman" was made about the process.


Students at charter schools perform better than their peers at public schools.

Charter schools vary widely in their quality. Some charter schools do outperform public schools, but many underperform.


Some charter schools don't require students to take tests.

Charter schools have to follow state education standards, and that means standardized tests determine who graduates.


The state aid received per student at a charter school averages 61 percent of the per student aid given to public schools.

The exact number varies by state, but the U.S. average before other funding sources are factored in is indeed 61 percent.


The charter school concept was developed in the 1970s.

While there were schools that followed many of the principles of charter schools before the 90s, 1991 is the year the first charter school law was passed, in Minnesota.


Some charter schools are run by for-profit companies.

For-profit companies can only run charter schools in states where such a practice is legal. Only four states allow it.


Charter schools aren't bound by the same laws and regulations as a public school.

The lack of regulations is the primary appeal of charter schools, allowing them to change their curriculum to suit the school's focus and goals.


Charter schools can have shorter school days, or extend the school year through the summer.

Adjusted school sessions is just one of the ways charter schools can offer alternatives to parents and students.


When a school gets a charter, it remains valid for 100 years.

Charters are renewed every three to five years, and struggling schools can get "probationary" charters valid for only one year.


The U.S. is the only country with charter schools.

Several other countries, including Canada and Sweden, have charter schools or something similar.


Education experts have a clear consensus on the effectiveness of charter schools.

Dozens of studies have been conducted on charter schools, and many of them show conflicting results.


Most charter schools are in urban areas.

Very few charter schools are found in suburban or rural areas.


Most teachers at charter schools belong to unions.

Most charter schools are non-union schools, compared to public schools, most of which are unionized.


All charters are issued by state boards of education.

In some states, local school boards issue charters, while a few states have created separate state agencies for issuing charters.


Forty U.S. states have laws allowing charter schools.

Charter schools exist in 40 states plus Washington, D.C.


Charter schools use the same curriculum as public schools.

The whole point of a charter school is to create a unique curriculum that emphasizes certain subject areas or values, such as math and science.


Charter schools have to be high schools.

Elementary and middle schools can be charter schools as well.


There are roughly 5,000 charter schools in the U.S.

Although some charter schools close down each year, more open up and the total keeps growing.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!