President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have made it clear that expanding charter schools is a critical part of successful education reform. "States that do not have public charter laws or put artificial caps on the growth of charter schools will jeopardize their applications under the Race to the Top Fund," Duncan said in June.
But two major studies on charter schools released this year had dramatically different findings. One study found that charter schools nearly closed the achievement gap between students in poor and affluent communities, while the other found that most charter schools deliver academic results that are no better, or worse, than those in regular public schools.
Do charter schools deserve the attention that the Obama administration is giving them? Why or why not?