Enrollment at Minnesota charter schools quadruples in past decade

A new report from the St. Paul-based Center for School Change found enrollment in Minnesota charter schools has grown to just under 40,000 students. Meanwhile, enrollment at traditional public schools fell five percent in the same time period. Minnesota's first charter school opened 20 years ago in St. Paul.
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A new report from the St. Paul-based Center for School Change found enrollment in Minnesota charter schools has grown to just under 40,000 students. Meanwhile, enrollment at traditional public schools fell five percent in the same time period. Minnesota's first charter school opened 20 years ago in St. Paul.

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Nearly 4,000 charter school officials are expected to gather in Minneapolis this week to discuss the progress of the national movement -- which began 20 years ago when the nation's first charter school opened in St. Paul. Enrollment at charter schools in Minnesota has surged in the last decade, but the effectiveness is still being debated. MPR reports a new University of Minnesota study found students at Twin Cities area charter schools scored lower on math and reading tests than counterparts at traditional schools.

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In a follow-up to a study released in 2008, researchers from the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota claim "charters still lag behind their traditional counterparts academically and remain more highly segregated by race and income." But the director for the Center for School Change tells MinnPost there's more to the story.

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