Samara Shever is a second and third grade “looping" teacher at Learning Without Limits Elementary School. Looping means Shever stays with the same class through their second and third grade years. She's been teaching this way for six years.
“When I started, we had just founded our school as a small public school," says Shever. "The reason we need a small school is because it allows us to have relationships with our students, and with our families in a way that if there are hundreds and hundreds of kids, you just can’t maintain.”
California has nearly a 1,000 charter schools, making it the most in the nation. Thirty-five of those are in the Oakland Unified School District. Charter school popularity has spurred education pedagogy research, the documentary Waiting for Superman, and has left lots of people wondering what these independent schools have to offer.