Is compound interest rates, according to Albert Einstein (or if not him someone smart).
About 2.5 million students currently attend charter schools.
About 50 million students currently attend public schools.
Last year, the charter sector grew by 12.6%.
At a 10% growth rate, which seems within range of recent trends, the sector would double every 7 years. This would lead to the following enrollment numbers:
In 2021, there would be 5 million students in charter schools.
In 2028, there would be 10 million students in charter schools.
In 2035, there would be 20 million students in charter schools.
In 2042, there would be 40 million students in charter schools.
In 2049, there would be 80 million students in charter schools.
So at current growth rates, the United States could transition to an all charter system before 2050.
Clearly, I could give many reasons why the charter school sector won’t maintain this growth.
I could also give many reasons why the charter school sector could grow much faster.
A couple of takeaways:
It seems somewhat shortsighted to argue that we must focus on district improvement because “that’s where all the students are.” This may not always be the case.
Unlike most education reform initiatives, charters schools can actually scale.
The future is perhaps already here, albeit distributed unevenly.