This week’s TIME column looks at the issue of charter school quality. A new study coming tomorrow shows results that are at once exhilarating and sobering. Is the price of creating space for more great schools the creation of some lousy ones as well?
The two most common criticisms about charter schools are that A) many of them aren’t that good and B) the good ones can’t be replicated to serve enough kids to really make a difference. TIME got an exclusive first look at the most comprehensive evaluation of charter school networks ever, and although the study, which will be released on Nov. 4, underscores the challenge of creating quality schools, it also makes clear that it is indeed possible to build a lot of schools that are game-changers for a lot of students.