Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education

Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education

by Chester E. Finn, Bruno V. Manno, Gregg Vanourek
     
 

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Can charter schools save public education? This radical question has unleashed a flood of opinions from Americans struggling with the contentious challenges of education reform. There has been plenty of heat over charter schools and their implications, but, until now, not much light. This important new book supplies plenty of illumination.

Charter

Overview

Can charter schools save public education? This radical question has unleashed a flood of opinions from Americans struggling with the contentious challenges of education reform. There has been plenty of heat over charter schools and their implications, but, until now, not much light. This important new book supplies plenty of illumination.

Charter schools—independently operated public schools of choice—have existed in the United States only since 1992, yet there are already over 1,500 of them. How are they doing? Here prominent education analysts Chester Finn, Bruno Manno, and Gregg Vanourek offer the richest data available on the successes and failures of this exciting but controversial approach to education reform. After studying one hundred schools, interviewing hundreds of participants, surveying thousands more, and analyzing the most current data, they have compiled today's most authoritative, comprehensive explanation and appraisal of the charter phenomenon. Fact-filled, clear-eyed, and hard-hitting, this is the book for anyone concerned about public education and interested in the role of charter schools in its renewal.

Can charter schools boost student achievement, drive educational innovation, and develop a new model of accountability for public schools? Where did the idea of charter schools come from? What would the future hold if this phenomenon spreads? These are some of the questions that this book answers. It addresses pupil performance, enrollment patterns, school start-up problems, charges of inequity, and smoldering political battles. It features close-up looks at five real—and very different—charter schools and two school districts that have been deeply affected by the charter movement, including their setbacks and triumphs. After outlining a new model of education accountability and describing how charter schools often lead to community renewal, the authors take the reader on an imaginary tour of a charter-based school system.

Charter schools are the most vibrant force in education today. This book suggests that their legacy will consist not only of helping millions of families obtain a better education for their children but also in renewing American public education itself.

Editorial Reviews

Philanthropy - Nina Shokraii Rees
A book that is masterful for its clarity of purpose, organization, and at times humor . . . This is a book that anyone with an interest in seriously reforming public education will find useful.
Washington Post Magazine - David Osborne
The best book yet on charter schools . . .
The Washington Times - Martin Morse Wooster
A book that anyone interested in learning how charter schools have changed American education needs to read.
American School Board Journal - Rebecca Jones
[The authors] offer a thorough and evenhanded overview of the good, the bad and the confusing of the charterschool movement.
From the Publisher
"A book that is masterful for its clarity of purpose, organization, and at times humor . . . This is a book that anyone with an interest in seriously reforming public education will find useful."—Nina Shokraii Rees, Philanthropy

"The best book yet on charter schools."—David Osborne, Washington Post Magazine

"A book that anyone interested in learning how charter schools have changed American education needs to read."—Martin Morse Wooster, The Washington Times

"[The authors] offer a thorough and evenhanded overview of the good, the bad and the confusing of the charterschool movement."—Rebecca Jones, American School Board Journal

Philanthropy
A book that is masterful for its clarity of purpose, organization, and at times humor . . . This is a book that anyone with an interest in seriously reforming public education will find useful.
— Nina Shokraii Rees
Washington Post Magazine
The best book yet on charter schools . . .
— David Osborne
American School Board Journal
[The authors] offer a thorough and evenhanded overview of the good, the bad and the confusing of the charterschool movement.
— Rebecca Jones
The Washington Times
A book that anyone interested in learning how charter schools have changed American education needs to read.
— Martin Morse Wooster
Martin Morse Wooster
Because charter schools are a relatively recent development, there aren't that many books about them. Chester Finn, Bruno Manno, and Gregg Vancourek's Charter Schools in Action is the first nationwide survey of these new educational institutions. It's a book that anyone interested in learning how charter schools have changed American education needs to read.
Washington Times
San Diego Union
Education is America's number one worry, according to nearly every survey. This has led presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore to place the issue at the top of their agendas, leading one pundit to dub them the "edu-candidates." While both candidates preach education, their approaches differ sharply.
:. Philanthropy
A book that is masterful for its clarity of purpose, organization, and at times humor…This is a book that anyone with an interest in seriously reforming public education will find useful.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691090085
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/30/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Joseph Lieberman
The charter school movement is one of the most promising reforms to hit public education in a long time, and no one is better prepared to explain its significance than Finn, Manno, and Vanourek. These scholars have been studying the ins and outs and ups and downs of charter schools from the beginning, documenting the successes and limitations of the charter model for policymakers in Congress and in statehouses across the country. Now they are doing the same for the general public with this informative, insightful, and inspiring book. I would encourage anyone who cares about the future of our public schools to read it.
Hanushek
The issues surrounding charter schools are probably the most important and vibrant ones in public education today. While bits and pieces of the charter school story currently exist, nothing of a systematic nature has been available until now. The authors have pulled together a truly wide-ranging body of evidence, effectively combining data analysis, case studies, first-person accounts, and deep intellectual ideas. Charter Schools in Action will be a valuable source book that shapes the way people think about the issues.
Eric A. Hanushek, University of Rochester
Moe
This book offers the most authoritative account yet of the American charter schools movement. It is wide-ranging in scope, brimming with important new data, beautifully written and argued, and crafted with insight and intelligence.
Terry M. Moe, Stanford University
Senator Joseph Lieberman
The charter school movement is one of the most promising reforms to hit public education in a long time, and no one is better prepared to explain its significance than Finn, Manno, and Vanourek. These scholars have been studying the ins and outs and ups and downs of charter schools from the beginning, documenting the successes and limitations of the charter model for policymakers in Congress and in statehouses across the country. Now they are doing the same for the general public with this informative, insightful, and inspiring book. I would encourage anyone who cares about the future of our public schools to read it.
Hoxby
This book does a superb job of representing the charter school movement.... It will become a backbone—if not the backbone—of charter school knowledge for a wide range of readers.
Caroline M. Hoxby, Harvard University
Paul Hill
An original and valuable book. No other book provides such a thorough overview of the thinking behind the charter school movement, and so carefully puts charter schools in context of other efforts to improve education. It should be must-reading for state legislators, public school administrators, school board members, education reporters, philanthropists, and people interested in operating charter schools.
Paul Hill, University of Washington

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