Talk K-12 education for more than five minutes and, inevitably the conversation turns to charter schools — those publicly funded, privately administered institutions that now educate more than 2 million American children.
Parents wonder if they are better than the neighborhood public school. Politicians tout them as a silver-bullet solution to the education crisis. Education technology companies promote them for their profit potential. Opponents of organized labor like the Walton family embrace them for their ability to crush teachers unions.