Charter schools are those schools which, though public, are relieved a little from some of the rules that typically govern public schools. For example, a charter school can deny admission, but children from the entire school county or city system can apply to attend. Sometimes charter schools focus on a particular area of curriculum, such as math or foreign language, allowing children who excel in those areas a classroom setting that allows them to really focus on their best skills.

Though charter schools represent just a small percentage of the public schools in our nation, they excel academically. According to a report from the National Alliance of Charter Schools in 2009, though charter schools represent just 5% of the high schools in America, they represent 14% of the highest performing academic schools. Here are 20 Charter schools that have been incredibly successful.

  1. Pacific Collegiate School, Santa Cruz, California: This school was ranked number 7 in the nation in 2009. It has a college readiness index of 100.
  2. Basis Tucson, Tucson Arizona: This high school ranked number nine in the nation in 2009, and also carries a college readiness index of 100.
  3. IDEA College Preparatory: This school ranked number 13 in the nation, and has a college readiness index of 97.7.
  4. KIPP Houston High School: Another top performing charter school, KIPP ranked number 16 in the nation and carries a college readiness index of 95.7%.
  5. Charter School of Wilmington Delaware: This school was ranked in the Great Schools of America’s top 5% for academic performance in 2009.
  6. Education Laboratory School, Honolulu, Hawaii: This charter school is ranked in the top 5% of Great Schools in America.
  7. Raleigh Charter School, Raleigh, NC: This high school was number 24 in the nation in 2009, with a college readiness index of 91.2. Students apply to the school, but are accepted on a lottery system, not based on their academics.
  8. Animo Leadership Charter High School, Inglewood, California: This school ranked number 23 in the nation in 2009, with a college readiness index of 91.6.
  9. Lennox Math, Science and Technology Academy, Lennox California: This school ranks number 25 in the nation, with a college readiness index of 90.5.
  10. Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans, Louisiana: The New Orleans School System is known for being one of the worst, and most corrupt in the nation. But, they have a charter high school that ranks number 27 in the country. Ben Franklin has a college readiness index of 89.8. Students are accepted based on merit.
  11. Coeur D’Alene Charter Academy, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho: This school ranked in the top 100 high schools in the nation in 2009, and ranked in the top 5% among the Great Schools in America listing.
  12. Minnesota Math and Science Academy, Woodbury, Minnesota: This charter school is ranked a blue ribbon school and is in the top 5% on the Great Schools In America list.
  13. Dove Science Academy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Dove Science Academy is ranked as a top 5% performer on the Great Schools in America List for both academic performance and for academic performance for low income students, too.
  14. Preuss School, UCSD: The Preuss School is a charter and middle school located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego. They are ranked in the top 5% on the Great Schools of America list for the academic performance of low income students. They are also a 2010 Blue Ribbon School.
  15. South Valley Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico: This is one of America’s Great Schools, making the list because of their performance among low income students.
  16. Times Squared, Providence Rhode Island: This school is also ranked with America’s Great schools because of the academic performance of their low income students.
  17. Washington Mathematics, Science and Technology School: Washington Mathematics, Science and Technology School in Washington DC is also highly rated by Great Schools of America for their performance among low income students.
  18. Carpe Diem, Yuma, Arizona: Carpe Diem is one of the most unique charter schools on our list, because many of their classes take place online. Though children do attend traditional classes, much of their learning experience is only. Great Schools of America ranked this charter school as one of 2009’s most improved.
  19. Collegiate Academy of Littleton Colorado: This is one of the few K-12 charter schools. It is ranked by Great Schools of America with distinction as a most improved school.
  20. Campus Community School, Dover, Delaware: This charter school serves grades 1-12 and is ranked by Great Schools of America for its recent improvement.

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