About Charter Schools

Charter School Myths & Realities

Myths about Charter School Enrollment

Myth

Charter public schools select only the best and the brightest students.

Reality

Charter schools are public schools open to any child, free of charge.  If more children want to enroll in a school than it has space for, a random lottery determines who gets in—no admission hurdles, no entrance exams, no preferential treatment.

Myth

Charter public schools are part of an agenda to privatize public education.

Reality

Again, charter schools are public schools. They are open to all students and admission is determined by random lottery—no entrance exams, no admission requirements. They are managed by public boards of trustees, abide by all the same laws and rules that district schools do, and are overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Nothing about them is private.

Myth

Charter public schools do not take special education students.

Reality

Of course they do! Charter public schools are under the same state and federal obligations to provide services to special needs children as other public schools, and indeed take on a similar percentage of such students. All public schools (including Charters) usually leave the education of students with needs that exceed capacity to experts at specially equipped independent schools.