Lloyd Lofthouse notes the expansion of the charter sector in past decade-plus and wonders how this will affect public schools. We know from many state and city studies that charters don’t outperform public schools and that many are run by for-profit corporations. No high-performing nation is embarked on the destruction of its public education system by imposing charters and vouchers and allowing non-educators to open schools.

Lloyd Lofthouse writes:

Is there a site that lists all the private sector charters starting with the biggest chain. If the Walton’s have more than 1,600 (about 28% of total), wouldn’t their corporate Charters be the largest chain.

I found this:

From school year 1999–2000 to 2011–12, the percentage of all public schools that were public charter schools increased from 1.7 to 5.8 percent, and the total number of public charter schools increased from 1,500 to 5,700.

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=30

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgb.asp

AN UPDATE: In November, U.S. News & World Report says, Number of U.S. Charter Schools Up 7 Percent, Report Shows.

The number of charter schools surpassed 6,000 at the start of the 2012-13 school year, as these schools – publicly financed, but privately run – steadily increased by 7 percent throughout the United States that year. This annual growth contributed to a 47 percent increase in the number of charter schools over the seven years since 2006-2007.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/11/03/number-of-us-charter-schools-up-7-percent-report-shows

In addition: Charter schools now account for more than 60% of the public schools in New Orleans. Some are run by KIPP a chain with 162 schools.

There are 146 charters in the Gulen chain

Eve Moskowitz of $500k+ annual salary fame, runs more than 32 in New York—-is this small—the district where I taught for 30 years in CA had 19 schools and about 19,000 students.

And here’s an interesting piece in Forbes:

Charter School Gravy Train Runs Express to Fat City:

On Thursday, July 25, dozens of bankers, hedge fund types and private equity investors gathered in New York to hear about the latest and greatest opportunities to collect a cut of your property taxes. Of course, the promotional material for the Capital Roundtable’s conference on “private equity investing in for-profit education companies” didn’t put it in such crass terms, but that’s what’s going on.

Charter schools are booming. “There are now more than 6,000 in the United States, up from 2,500 a decade ago, educating a record 2.3 million children,” according to Reuters.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/09/10/charter-school-gravy-train-runs-express-to-fat-city/

Or this one from The Nation:

Venture capitalists and for-profit firms are salivating over the exploding $788.7 billion market in K-12 education. What does this mean for public school students?

http://www.thenation.com/article/181762/venture-capitalists-are-poised-disrupt-everything-about-education-market#