America’s success in the 21st century depends on what we do today to reignite the true engine of our economic growth: a thriving middle class. Achieving that vision means making sure our education system provides ladders of opportunity for our sons and daughters. We need to equip all our students with the education and skills that put them on the path to good jobs and a bright future — no matter where they live or what school they attend.
Charter schools play an important role in meeting that obligation. These learning laboratories give educators the chance to try new models and methods that can encourage excellence in the classroom and prepare more of our children for college and careers. In return for this flexibility, we should expect high standards and accountability, and make tough decisions to close charter schools that are underperforming and not improving. But where charter schools demonstrate success and exceed expectations, we should share what they learn with other public schools and replicate those that produce dramatic results. Many charter schools choose to locate in communities with few high-quality educational options, making them an important partner in widening the circle of opportunity for students who need it most.
Continue Reading: Presidential Proclamation — National Charter Schools Week, 2013