With the advent of charter schools in the United States, the face of public education has changed in this country. From its early beginning in Minnesota to its exponential growth in California the charter school movement has generated much controversy. It has been praised for its accomplishments, and criticized for its creaming of students. Over 130,000 students attend nearly 250 charter schools in the city of Los Angeles. This book presents an in-depth look at seventeen of those schools - urban schools that are making a difference in the lives of the students and families they serve. Readers will encounter a group of dedicated educational pioneers who are committed and passionate about their schools. These are people who have sacrificed much, and put their lives on hold to develop and implement schools that meet the needs of all students regardless of economic circumstance or background. From people who have mortgaged their homes to attain financing for their dream, to some that have changed careers to improve the quality of education for children and young adults.