Charter Schools: Creating Hope and Opportunity for American Education

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Unresponsive and bureaucratic are two words that parents, educators, and legislators often use to describe our public education system. Frustrated by having their ideas ignored and their skills neither recognized nor rewarded, thousands of educators and parents are taking matters into their own hands and obtaining charters to create a new kind of public school. Charter schools are supported by taxes and required to produce measurable gains in student achievement, or else close. They operate independently of most ...
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Overview

Unresponsive and bureaucratic are two words that parents, educators, and legislators often use to describe our public education system. Frustrated by having their ideas ignored and their skills neither recognized nor rewarded, thousands of educators and parents are taking matters into their own hands and obtaining charters to create a new kind of public school. Charter schools are supported by taxes and required to produce measurable gains in student achievement, or else close. They operate independently of most district and state regulation - cutting through the bureaucratic nightmare that often accompanies school restructuring. Thoughtful, fair competition, so central to the charter idea, is turning out to give school systems a run for their money. Based on nationwide surveys, research, and visits to dozens of charter schools, award-winning former public school educator Joe Nathan addresses the key questions about these revolutionary schools. Who starts charter schools? What kind of students attend? Are charter schools using ideas and techniques other schools can and should learn from? Are these schools actually helping students? Are charter schools having an impact on the larger system? Nathan's book also explains why both liberals and conservatives, including people who oppose vouchers, support the charter approach. He describes the key elements of the charter idea and explains how it differs from strategies like magnet schools, vouchers, and site management.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Addresses questions about charter schools; discusses how they differ from magnet schools, vouchers, and site management; and explains why both liberals and conservatives support the charter approach. Explores the lessons learned in the brief history of charter schools, and the attempts by school boards and teacher unions to block or weaken charter legislation. Contains appendices of charter contacts and a model charter school law. Of interest to anyone starting a charter school or converting an existing one. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787902636
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/24/1996
  • Series: The Jossey-Bass Education Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

JOE NATHAN is director of the Center for School Change at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and writes a weekly education column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. His guest columns have appeared in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlanta Constitution. A leading authority in the field of charter schools, he has also been a guest on The Today Show and CBS Morning News.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction: A New Choice 1
1 A Tour of Charter Schools 23
2 The Birth of a Movement 55
3 Breaking the District Monopoly 75
4 A New Role for Unions 93
5 Getting Started 121
6 Building Support 131
7 Staying in Business 142
8 Key Early Lessons 167
9 Charting the Future 180
Appendix A State-by-State Activity and Contacts 187
Appendix B Model Charter School Law 203
Appendix C Additional Resources 219
Notes 223
The Author 235
Index 237
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