Charter Schools: The Ultimate Handbook for Parents. Karin Piper. 2009. Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 2009. 9781932279054. 264 pages

Written by a parent for parents! More than 30 chapters feature different aspects of charter schools from the perspective of a charter school mom. It also boasts a directory of award winning charter schools, plus a research guide to equip readers in pursuit of their happily education after. The fastest growing school choice is public charter schools. It is not just moms who favor charters, the list includes dads, teachers, community members-even legislators. Part 1 provides parents with the basic facts on charter school origins. It answers: "Why do parents choose charter schools?" The answers come directly from charter school parents. Part 2 covers the basic structure of a charter school answering questions such as: Are charter school teachers qualified? Who attends a charter school? Who's the boss? Part 3 answers questions about charter school functions which are often asked by incoming families. We discuss expected workload, what to wear, the difference between amenities and necessities, as well as learning services. Part 4 is designed to help parents make a school decision, regardless of the answer. What are some of the facts you should consider? What concessions may need to be made? Is this realistic for you? Which type of charter school may be a fit? How do you enroll in a charter? Part 5 gives a glimpse of the charter school life. How do you connect with other families? Where do you volunteer? How do you build a relationship with your child's teacher? How do you network with other charter schools? Part 6 dives behind the scenes of charter school creation, how they are financed, and state laws. Part 7 looks at the politics, the unions and other hot topics surrounding charter schools. Part 8 overflows with a glossary of terms, resources and support available. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Karin Piper was born and raised in Sweden and landed in the United States through a student exchange program. She has written blogs and columns for several publications including Your Hub (Denver Post), Schools of Tomorrow (EdNews Colorado), the Examiner (Colorado Charter School Examiner) and Colorado Parenting Magazine. Along with being a mother and writer she is also a volunteer and advocate for schools and public libraries and has worked with the Douglas County Libraries, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, and a collection of area schools. She has been featured in various charter school advocacy network publications throughout the United States. Her quest for information about Charter Schools led to her becoming an informed school choice parent and she is eager to share her tales of confusion, frustration, hilarity, and the unbeatable spirit of community partnership.
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