As traditional public schools face increased competition from charter schools - which now educate 1 in 13, or about 82,000 Arizona students - some public schools are working to provide parents the information they need to make more informed decisions about where to enroll their children.
C.I. Waggoner Elementary School in Tempe hosts events such as "Experience Kyrene Night." The open house encourages parents to learn more about the public school and its students' performance on standardized test scores. Teachers field questions from curious parents.
As school choice advocates have long argued and "Experience Kyrene Night" demonstrates, charter and private schools can benefit public schools by making public schools more accountable and more responsive to parents' needs.
As Goldwater Institute's Dr. Vicki Murray comments in Sunday's East Valley Tribune article, "Schools in marketing battle for students," public schools "have to compete now because they're no longer the only game in town."
More information on the success of charter schools can be found in a 2004 policy report by Lewis Solomon.