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But how do parents decide which private school is the best for their child.

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Charter-school parents are 39 percent of families using chosen public schools and 6 percent of all students in the sample. By separating out these students (most of whom were presumably attending 1 of the 5,274 charter schools operating across the U.S. in 2011), we are able to compare parent satisfaction of students at charter schools with students in private schools, assigned-district schools, and choice district schools.

More parents than ever before are choosing to put their children in private schools, children’s churches, and church services in general.

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To be clear, these findings speak only to how parents experience their children’s schools; they do not necessarily reflect the on-the-ground reality within each sector. Even so, parents’ opinions affect their choices among schools as well as, likely, the political pressure they may exert on educators and policymakers. What parents think of their children’s schools, therefore, has important implications for the future of the charter-school movement.

With no summer vacation parents wouldn’t worry about their kids as much, and the children will be safe.

The assigned-school-district sector has a strong competitive advantage because assigned-district schools are free and universally available, and 76 percent of American students attend them, according to a 2012 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the U.S. Department of Education. The three choice sectors do not enjoy those advantages and enroll fewer students: 10 percent of U.S. students attend private schools, 9 percent attend district schools of choice, and 6 percent attend charters, according to NCES. The private sector has a strong disadvantage because most families must pay tuition. The charter sector has the advantage of its programs being tuition-free but is limited to operating in specific places where charters have been approved by a state-determined authorizer. Similarly, district schools of choice also are tuition-free but cannot operate in competition with assigned-district schools unless school boards specifically allow them.

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As the Obama administration prepares to revamp the No Child Left Behind initiative, much attention is being given to the challenges and successes of charter schools.

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In sum, charter parents are more likely to identify serious problems with student behavior at their children’s schools than are private-school parents, but less likely to do so than district-school parents. Charters appear to provide fewer extracurricular activities than either private or district schools, perhaps because they are newer and often have less-lavish facilities and limited space for playgrounds and sports activities.

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Charter schools vs. district schools. As compared to parents of children in district schools, charter parents are 15 percentage points more likely to say they have communicated with the school about volunteering, and 7 percentage points more likely to report having spoken to school officials about their child’s accomplishments.

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Charter schools vs. private schools. A greater share of parents reported serious problems in the charter sector than in the private sector. However, after we controlled for background characteristics, these differences were statistically significant for only three problems: fighting, students with different abilities being placed in the same classroom, and a lack of extracurricular activities.

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Charter schools vs. private schools. School communications in the charter sector are also perceived by parents to be more extensive than those in the private sector. While private-school parents are as likely as charter parents to report having discussed volunteering, charter parents report that they have communicated with school officials more frequently than private-school parents about their child’s schoolwork or homework, the behavior of other students, their child’s behavioral problems, and the quality of teaching at the school. Only the difference with respect to communications about schoolwork or homework is statistically significant after adjusting for differences in background characteristics. Judging from parental perceptions, however, charter schools appear to have built a more extensive communication system with parents than schools in either the district or private sector.