Are Charter Schools Detrimental to Public Education?


Charter schools are school systems that boast self-sufficiency in terms of capital. They are founded by educators, society, and students while adhering to charter guidelines and national authorities in the United States. Charter schools are public, available to all based on a first-come, first-served basis, and tuition-free. The charter avails the schools with the liberty to make modifications to their curriculum, personnel, and budgets without regulations that limit district schools. Differences between charter schools and district schools include the longer school days and school years. The autonomy conferred to charter schools has propelled them to make both good and bad decisions that have generally bettered public education. The debate over the impact of charter schools on public education is a ranging one in the nation and this essay analyzes both sides of the divide. The first two parts present opposing research-based analyses of the argument before the final segments offer my personal views on the topic.

Charter Schools Are Detrimental to the Public Education in the U.S

Charter schools have reduced the quality of public education offered in the United States due to the limited government involvement in their actions. The “No Child Left Behind” legislation is the only government accountability standard that regulates the actions of teachers in key subjects. Other than this legislation standard, charter schools are free to make their decisions on how they hire or fire teachers without restriction. The eventual impact of such a scenario is that students do not receive the necessary quality of learning hence diminished quality of public education. Charter schools also encourage academic and school segregation based on race and social class. Riel et al (2018) evaluated the impact of charter schools on equality and discovered that these schools do not have a national picture of the US citizens. They mainly admitted students from a specific race or socioeconomic class, advancing segregation. Charter schools are inadequately equipped to handle the care of disabled pupils. Jason (2017) outlines that the failure of charter schools in serving disabled children is due to both inappropriate personnel and facilities. This causes greater suspension of disabled children in these schools compared to regular schools.

  • Premise 1: Teachers may lack the necessary qualification, or they may have abilities and experiences that are not recognized in traditional public institutions (Riel, et al., 2018).
  • Premise 2: Charters schools promote ethnic and socioeconomic segregation (Riel, et al., 2018).
  • Premise 3: Charters incompetently serve students with special needs (Jason, 2017).
  • Premise 4: Children with disabilities are suspended at a greater rate in charter schools than in regular schools (Jason, 2017).

Conclusion: Charter schools greatly diminish the quality of public education within the country while aggravating discrimination. Premise 2 refers to the racial and socioeconomic groups that are dominant within a specific charter school. It, therefore, follows that if only a specific race attends a certain school, an image of separation will be created. Premises 3 and 4 refer to the ill equipping of charter schools to address the needs of disabled pupils. With minimal equipping in terms of staff and facilities, an appearance of disregard for their needs is created. The segregation of students based on race and socioeconomic class is obvious, alongside the discrimination of disabled children.

Charter Schools Are not Detrimental to Public Schools

Charter schools have improved public education in the country by offering greater opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Pupils in most charter schools do not pay tuition fees, except for private schools. Students of color from lower socioeconomic classes have been the biggest beneficiary of charter schools, since the founding of the Charter School Management Organizations (CMOs) (Stahl, 2020). Charter schools are also icons of freedom in the country, enabling citizens to institute educational institutions that meet their needs (Beacon Academic Charter School, 2021). This is a crucial component of the educational reforms in the country. Charter schools also boast great support from the political institutions within various states, indicating their eligibility in spearheading educational reforms (Stahl, 2020). Charter schools are currently crucial and will continue to hold an essential part in bettering the US education system and making public education more credible.

  • Premise 1: Charter schools provide greater freedom (Beacon Academic Charter School, 2021).
  • Premise 2: Charter schools change learning experiences for vulnerable people (Stahl, 2020).
  • Premise 3: State education authorities and local school boards support Charter schools (Stahl, 2020).

Conclusion: Charter Schools greatly enrich the nation’s public education system while enabling minority communities to access free education. The backing these schools receive from state educational authorities indicates great political support for educational reform that is grounded in freedom.

Analysis of the Arguments

The first argument that charter schools diminish the quality of public education is well supported as the premises and conclusion are in tandem. The absence of well-accredited teachers directly diminishes the academic performance of students. Riel, et al (2018) are however inadequately credible to make such an argument due to the absence of statistics detailing the differences in performance between charter schools and the others. Jason (2017) argument on the role of charter schools in discriminating against disabled pupils is based on the statistics that charter schools have 10.4% of disabled students compared to 12.6% in public schools. This claim is not credible if viewed objectively as charter schools for disabled children are specifically modeled to meet their needs. This means that the expectation that disabled pupils would be present in general charter schools neglects their need for specialized care.

The second argument that charter schools do not diminish the quality of education has premises that adequately coincide with the conclusion. Stahl (2020) is credible and supports the findings on the provision of freedom by charter schools and the promotion of educational reforms. The research incorporates the views of various stakeholders within the educational sector, preventing bias. Stahl (2020) also provides supporting statistics on the performance of charter schools since their inception and offers evidence-based reasons for their continued operations. Beacon Academic Charter School (2021) also provides great insights on the benefits of charter schools based on lived experiences, boosting their validity and credibility. This argument is stronger than the first and supports the assertion that charter schools are essential in promoting public education. This is due to its incorporation of sources that rely on sufficient statistics, hence boosting credibility. Based on my analysis of the quality of arguments, I assert that charter schools are essential for a proper public education system.

Personal Argument on the Topic

I disagree with the assertion that charter schools worsen public education as they instead ensure greater access to education. Charter schools were initially instituted to ensure the needs of minority communities and students were met. Since their inception, charter schools have provided many children with the opportunity to acquire education regardless of their socioeconomic status or race (Keehne et al., 2018). This has generally enabled people who would ordinarily not afford education to become informed. This is crucial and sets them on a route to improve their lives and those of their communities. Charter schools also promote innovation and enable the American education system to deviate from traditional rigidity. The consideration of the variations presented by the charter schools is vital in promoting diversity within the schools as children can explore their unique orientations.

Objection to Personal Argument

The best possible objection to the impact of charter schools in improving educated individuals in society is that the education they receive is not of the required quality. The teachers in charter schools may not meet the qualifications of those in other schools, meaning they may offer poor quality instruction. The innovation and freedom associated with charter schools are also not well-grounded in research and may lead to the acquisition of inappropriate knowledge and instruction for their age. Charter schools are also characterized by immense freedom to operate without much restriction and this may cause abuse of authority and powers by the institution.

The objections to my argument above can be disapproved by taking an objective view of the nation’s literacy status since the inception of charter schools (Keehne et al., 2018). Americans are now more educated than ever with the charter schools drastically contributing to these numbers. Regardless of the quality worries, educated people are better suited to make both social, economic, and political decisions (Keehne et al., 2018). These are the backbone of a successful nation and determine whether advancement in all fields is achieved. The exposure of pupils to content that is inappropriate for their age is a necessary evil that we must contend with and find alternate solutions. Parents and guardians can ensure their children are better guided on the content acquired to boost relevance.


In conclusion, there are varied schools of thought on the impact of charter schools on public education. The promoters of this opinion argue that these schools have minimal regulation, promote racial and socioeconomic segregation, and discriminate against disabled pupils. The opposing view argues that charter schools boost educational freedom, provide learning for vulnerable populations, and have the massive backing of educational authorities. My personal opinion is that charter schools are necessary for a better public education system. Critical thinking is essential when handling controversial topics to ensure that all points of view are incorporated. Major points by both arguments must be incorporated and their sources adequately examined for relevance and credibility. Critical thinking is vital in ensuring future discourses on controversial topics are objective and the best decisions are made in this regard.


Beacon Academic Charter School. (2021). What are the benefits of a charter school? Web.

Jason, Z. (2017). The Battle Over Charter Schools. Harvard Graduate School of Education. Web.

Keehne, C. N. K., Sarsona, M. W., Kawakami, A. J., & Au, K. H. (2018). Culturally responsive instruction and literacy learning. Journal of Literacy Research, 50(2), 141–166. Web.

Riel, V., Parcel, T. L., Mickelson, R. A., & Smith, S. S. (2018). Do magnet and charter schools exacerbate or ameliorate inequality? Sociology Compass, 12(9), e12617. Web.

Stahl, G. D. (2020). “We make our own rules here”: Democratic communities, corporate logics, and “no excuses” practices in a charter school management organization. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 49(2), 089124161987109. Web.

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