The charter school race

There are 13 charter holders in the city, more than double the number that first opened schools in 1997, but two shy of the legal limit of 15. They enroll 6,500 students, fewer than 2 percent of the school system’s 435,000 students.

The people who run Chicago’s charter schools, including many former Chicago Public Schools teachers and principals, are motivated much like charter school leaders nationwide. They want to satisfy parents’ demand for an alternative to their neighborhood public schools, while being free from union work rules and local and state regulations to try new educational approaches.