This chapter summarizes a series of studies the authors have conducted over the last 4 years that evaluate the effectiveness of California charter schools. California has been an important state in the debate over charter schools. It was the second state to authorize charter schools in 1992. More than 210,000 students now attend about 550 charter schools there, the largest charter sector in the nation. Of those, almost 200 new charter schools have opened in the past 5 years. Charter schools are found in most parts of the state, from districts in small, rural counties to large, urban districts (Edwards, 2006).
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