They point out that there is a strong positive correlation between participation in activities and GPA. There is also research that significant participation in activities is a reliable predictor of success in college--arguably more reliable than measures such as rigor of courses taken or straight GPA.
All that is setup to the question: Are charter schools paying enough attention to the importance of co-curricular programs? Many charter schools are struggling to find facilities, make payroll and support programs. It makes sense that they would "get around to activities" later.
CIVA Charter School in Colorado Springs has launched an activities program this year. Whether they are playing football or ultimate frisbee, these students have access to an important part of school culture. Other charter schools have robust athletic programs and inspiring arts programs, supplemented by speech, debate, chess, service, Scouts and myriad other opportunities for students to find their niche and blossom.
If you are planning or leading a charter school—are your students active enough? A team, performance group or student club might make the difference that holds the students you need for the future. Don't forget the student's day doesn't end at 2:30. For a lot of students, that's when the life they care most about begins.