Making the Grade: Episode 5

Monday , May 19, 2014 - 12:00 AM

In the fifth episode of the “Making the Grade” documentary series, we look at the growth of charter schools around Northern Utah.

In 1999, the first eight charter schools opened in the state. Fourteen years later, nearly 100 charter schools now operate around Utah with 9 percent of all public school students enrolled in a charter school.

The schools operate in a gray area between private and traditional public schools. Charter schools are publicly funded and free to students, but each school is privately run by its own board of directors.

Advocates for charter schools view these new facilities as successful testing grounds for innovations in education. However, others see the growing emphasis on charter schools as a move toward privatizing education and a depletion of necessary resources for public schools.

We spoke with families, students and staff from both traditional and charter schools to find out more in the latest episode of the “Making the Grade” series.

“Making the Grade” is an original six-part documentary from the Standard-Examiner exploring educational issues in Northern Utah. New episodes of the the series are published every Monday on from mid-April through the end of the school year.

Contact reporter Benjamin Zack at 801-625-4291, Follow him on Twitter at @SE_BenjaminZack or on facebook at

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