Oklahoma City Public Schools believes that providing students and families a variety of education choices, representing a range of high quality instructional methodologies is an important District goal. In an effort to accomplish this goal the District recognizes the federal initiative of charter schools and welcomes charter school leaders to join with us in providing a quality education to the children of Oklahoma City.
Our District currently sponsors six charter schools which serve approximately 2700 students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelfth. These students, like thousands of others in Oklahoma City Public Schools, are the reason we are committed to helping ensure the success of our charter schools through continuous improvement as a charter school sponsor. Charter schools sponsored by Oklahoma City Board of Education must be educationally sound, quality schools filling a program or under-served student need within the District.
As the District seeks to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for college and career, charter schools will be a mechanism for growing the range of options so that all Oklahoma City Public School students have the ability to be successful. We know that kids are unique individuals. They learn in different ways; they aspire to different careers; and they are interested in different subjects. The more options, the better. To accomplish our goal, the District strives to provide flexibility of programs that facilitate students achieving their academic and personal potential.
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are innovative, nonsectarian public schools which provide educational choices tailored to the community needs, which provide greater accountability for results. Charter school are:
- Open to all children;
- Do not charge tuition; and
- Do not have special entrance requirements.
The basic concept of charter schools is that, in exchange for the greater accountability, they exercise increased autonomy. They are accountable for both academic results and fiscal practices to several groups: the sponsor that grants them, the parents who choose them, and the public that funds them. Charter schools were created to help improve our nation’s public school system and offer parents another public school option to better meet their child’s specific needs.
In the early 1990s, a small group of educators and policymakers came together to develop the charter school model. Minnesota’s legislature passed the first charter law in 1991, and the first charter school opened in 1992.