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The Editors

In Defense of Charter Schools

Charters are losing public support. Here's how to win it back.
Couldn't agree more.

Couldn't agree more.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Charter schools have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support. That's because they deliver results: Students who attend nonprofit charter schools on average learn more and have higher college graduation rates than kids at traditional public schools.

There are signs, however, that this support is in need of shoring up. According to a survey of 4,200 Americans released this month, public support for "the formation of charter schools" has declined by 12 percentage points over the last year, to less than 40 percent. For the first time, more Democrats oppose charters than support them. Even among Republicans, who once hailed charters for introducing competition into the public-school system, support has fallen to less than 50 percent.