Charter Schools and the Corporate Makeover of Public Education: What's at Stake?

Overview

This book will reset the discourse on charter schooling by systematically exploring the gap between the promise and the performance of charter schools. The authors do not defend the public school system, which for decades has failed primarily poor children of color. Instead, they use empirical evidence to determine whether charter schooling offers an authentic alternative for these children. In concise chapters, they address a series of important questions related to the recent ascent of charter schools and the ...

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Charter Schools and the Corporate Makeover of Public Education: What's at Stake?

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Overview

This book will reset the discourse on charter schooling by systematically exploring the gap between the promise and the performance of charter schools. The authors do not defend the public school system, which for decades has failed primarily poor children of color. Instead, they use empirical evidence to determine whether charter schooling offers an authentic alternative for these children. In concise chapters, they address a series of important questions related to the recent ascent of charter schools and the radical restructuring of public education. This essential introduction includes a detailed history of the charter movement, an analysis of the politics and economics driving the movement, documentation of actual student outcomes, and alternative images of transforming public education to serve all children.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807752852
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 12/16/2011
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 500,394
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Deborah Meier ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1 An Introduction to the Landscape of Charter Reform 1

The Rise of the Charter School Movement 2

Charter Schools, Public Education, and the Front Line of a Contested Political Terrain 5

Charters in the History of Educational Choice 7

What Is at Stake? 8

The Structure of the Book 9

2 The Promise: The Genesis of Expectation and the Challenge of Charter Reform 12

The Luster and Contribution of Exemplar Charter Schools 14

A History of Charters in Three Movements 17

The Policy Landscape: Commitments and Variation 21

The Charter Landscape 21

Policy Dimensions: Are Charter Schools Public Institutions? 23

Charters, the Marketplace, and a Theory of Change 26

The Appeal of Charters to Dominant Economic Interests: Monetizing Public Education 27

The Question of Money and Corruption 31

Scaling up Reform Through a Network of Charters: The Tradeoffs of Efficiency-and Economic Advantage 32

Parents' Search for Alternatives to a System That Has Disinvested 33

3 The Tension Between Promise and Evidence 37

The Promise-Evidence Gap 37

Charters and the Promise of Equity 45

Charter School Dropouts, Pushouts, and Graduation Rates: Why Do We Know So Little? 48

The Effect of Charters on Parent Involvement 52

The Promise of Charter Innovation as a Pathway to Improving Public Education 54

Teacher Experience and Stability as Predicates for Innovation 58

Summary 59

4 Interlocking Power and the Deregulation of Public Education 61

The Influence of Wealth on Public Policy 62

The State and Philanthropy 63

The Charter Campaign and Political Mobilization of the Private Sector: The Case of New York State 66

Charter Schools and the Maximization of Economic Gain: Profiting from the Privatization of Public Schools 68

The Slippery Question of Profit and the Consolidation of Power 69

Partnership and Profit in the Game of Educational Privatization 75

Claiming Market Share: Strategic Organizing of the Charter Campaign 77

Collateral Damage: The Loss of Accountability 85

Reflections on Politics, Economics, and Ideology 86

5 "Crisis": A Moment for Dispossession and Profit 88

In a Landscape of Inequality: Whose Crisis Is It Anyway? 90

After the Floods: Charter Growth in New Orleans 91

Building an Education Renaissance: Chicago and Charter Education 95

Declaring "Crisis": School Closings and Charter Openings in New York City 98

A Geography and Archeology of Dispossession: Tracking the Policies and Their Impact 100

Making a Science of Dispossession: Focus on Testing, Ignore Dropout 102

The Dropout Epidemic 104

Conclusion 106

6 Reclaiming "Public": Deepening National Commitments to Public Investment and Public Innovation 108

New Jersey: The Budget Crisis and Public Education 108

The Binary Tradeoffs of Charter Policy 111

Provocative Images of Public Innovation 115

Toward a New Consensus: The Increasing Call for Investment to Spur Innovation and Foster Effective Schooling 117

Reimagining and Reinvesting in a Public Education 126

Conclusion 130

References 131

Index 143

About The Authors 153

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