A Guide to Charter Schools: Research and Practical Advice for Educators

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Here is a short edited volume that brings together in one place, the best scholarly articles in charter schooling by national experts and leaders, written in a user-friendly fashion. It is the ideal introduction for those interested in the charter school movement with numerous insights for and by charter operators, administrators, and teachers as well as the academic community. The volume starts with essays explaining the history of education reforms past, in particular why their failures make charters a necessity. Additional essays examine such research questions as whether class size matters, how to end the teacher shortage, routes to alternative certification, why urban school reform fails, and how to make merit pay work. The second section includes essays outlining the key research on charter schools. Chapters examine such questions as how charter schools compare to district schools, how non-profit charters compare to for-profit charters, what determines teacher quality, and how the small size of charters makes for complex questions of accountability. The final section includes personal reflections, tips and horror stories from charter operators. In particular, essays examine why most charters have a tough first year, the difficulties of converting a private school to a charter, how to manage facilities, how to obtain grant money, and how to do good charter marketing.

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Editorial Reviews

Reference and Research Book News
Intended as an introduction for those interested in the charter schools movement, this volume presents scholarly articles on the subject by authors representing a variety of perspectives.
Lisa Graham Keegan
Kayes and Maranto’s writings have always enlightened us as to how the education reform policies we advocate evolve into practice that affects thousands of students. Their perspective invites understanding over ideological hope, and their latest work combines the talents of others who likewise seek to provide us a window into the actual effect of our policies over time.

Student-centered reforms such as charter schools now provide a history of over a decade of work. The next actions of educators and reformers should depend on a clear appreciation for the benefits we have inspired as well as the pitfalls we may have wrought. There’s nobody better to collect that history meaningfully for us than these two scholars.

Jay P. Greene
The chapters in this book explore almost every nook and cranny of the issues involving charter schools, from how charters should be issued to what these schools should teach to how they are studied. Also the chapters span methodological approaches, from empirical analyses to case studies to participant recollections. The authors range from charter supporters to charter critics, from the right and from the left. In short, one would be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive and balanced picture of what we know about charter schools than what is found in this book.
Matthew J. Brouillette
Charter schools will be the savior of public education in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the redemption of public education lies in the system's willingness to become more and more charter-like. Yes, charter schools have their flaws, but A Guide to Charter Schools demonstrates that charter schools can overcome them where the current public school system cannot.
Andy Rotherham
A punchy and useful overview of many facets of charter schooling that will prove useful for friends and critics of charters alike and those who want to learn more about these new public schools.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578864041
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 5/12/2006
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Myron S. Kayes is president of the non-profit SCHOOLS, Inc. He also directs the Center for Program Resources and is employed full time as a development director for a regional medical center. Robert Maranto is associate professor of political science at Villanova University and has served at the Brookings Institution, the Goldwater Institute, and the Commonwealth Foundation.

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Table of Contents

1 Charter schools and school reform : what we know and where we'll go 1
2 Book review : tinkering toward utopia : a century of public school reform 13
3 Big city schools are not in Kansas : can we improve city schools without school choice? : not in your lifetime! 29
4 The spinning wheels of urban school reform 33
5 R-E-S-P-E-C-T : teacher abuse and how to end it 41
6 Smaller classes or better teachers? 51
7 Why so many Arizona certified teachers aren't in the classroom 63
8 Where's the alternative? : identifying, training, and certifying 69
9 Revenge of the (nerdy) professors : scholarly research on charter schools and why it matters 79
10 Personnel policy in traditional public, charter, and private schools 91
11 Future of chartered schools - the supply side 101
12 Charter school accountability issues - pragmatic or political? 111
13 Teacher quality leadership from public charter schools 121
14 Does mission matter? : exploring a typology of charter school orientation 129
15 How the best laid schemes go astray : the agony and (occasional) ecstasy of charter start-ups 149
16 Whose idea was this anyway? : the continually challenging metamorphosis from private to charter 157
17 If you build it, they will come 169
18 Measurement : the key to charter school marketing 185
19 When charter schools have a distinct advantage over districts, or show me the (grant) money 195
20 Horror stories 207
21 He said/he said : a debate about charters 219
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