What's Public About Charter Schools?: Lessons Learned About Choice and Accountability

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Overview

This book is a valuable tool for analyzing the success of the private/public hybrid in serving the core purpose of public education.

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Editorial Reviews

On-line journal
“What’s Public About Charter Schools? offers an interesting and comprehensive study of a significant charter sector. Policy-makers looking for ideas about what to do an not do would be wise to read What’s Public About Charter Schools.”
Kyle L. Peck
"What’s Public About Charter Schools? provides valuable insights for charter school operators and advocates, school administrators, community members, politicians, and policy makers looking for data upon which to base decision making. Miron and Nelson have lived school reform evaluation for years, and their experience shows in this thoughtful and useful book."
Henry M. Levin
"This is the most comprehensive book that I have seen on charter schools. Both the descriptive data and the analysis are an important contribution."
Priscilla Wohlstetter
"Miron and Nelson make a significant contribution to the debate about school restructuring reforms provide a strikingly balanced look at the charter school movement in action. Their conclusions and recommendations offer important lessons to school reformers, researchers, and policymakers both in the United States and internationally."
William L. Boyd
"This book covers essential material and will be of interest for classes on education policy and educational administration and will command an audience among school reformers and policy analysts."
Education Review
"What's Public About Charter Schools? by Gary Miron and Christopher Nelson deserves to be cited repeatedly as the debate about charter schools continues. The researchers' careful and balanced analysis of the situation in Michigan has much to say about the charter school movement across the country and leads to important cautions about whether and how the movement should proceed. These recommendations provide concrete and practical solutions for improving charter schools by addressing some of the shortcoming that the authors have uncovered."
Educational Researcher
"The greatest strength of Miron and Nelson’s volume is that . . . it provides the most comprehensive overview of how a school choice program works."
On-line Journal
“What’s Public About Charter Schools? offers an interesting and comprehensive study of a significant charter sector. Policy-makers looking for ideas about what to do an not do would be wise to read What’s Public About Charter Schools.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761945383
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Miron has a diverse background in the field of education. He worked as a public school teacher in Michigan in the mid-1980s. Later he worked as an educational researcher and university instructor in the field of education. Currently, he is Principal Research Associate at Western Michigan University's Evaluation Center. There, he has completed or is working on a variety of school reform evaluations including evaluations of charter schools in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Cleveland. In Connecticut and Cleveland, he has been involved in providing training and technical assistance to charter schools in terms of helping them develop and implement accountability plans and self-evaluations. He has also conducted a study of student achievement gains in schools operated by Edison Schools Inc. Before joining The Evaluation Center, Dr. Miron worked at Stockholm University where he had completed his graduate studies. While in Sweden he conducted a study on the national voucher reform in the early 1990s and later took part in a study of school restructuring in Europe. He has researched and written on such topics as educational evaluation, special needs education, educational planning and policy, multimethod research, charter schools, and school reform.

Christopher Nelson is Senior Research Associate at Western Michigan University’s Evaluation Center, where he works on large-scale evaluations of state charter school laws. He is project manager for evaluations in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and the city of Cleveland, and has contributed to evaluation reports on charter schools in Michigan and Connecticut. Before joining The Evaluation Center, Dr. Nelson was on the faculty of the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught courses on evaluation methodology, policy analysis, and public organizations. While in Pittsburgh, Nelson worked on a number of regional education policy studies,including a large-scale assessment of work force readiness among high school students, and a study of early-grade literacy. In addition, he played a leading role in the development of an education policy indicator system that is still in use today. Nelson holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Outline of the Book
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Charter Schools and Privatization - With Christopher Lubienski
What Are Chater Schools? A Crash Course in the Charter Concept
Accountability to Whom? The New Politics of Education
What's Public About Charter Schools?
Formalist and Functionalist Views of Public-ness
Chapter 2: Shifting From Public to Private: Historical and Political Backdrop
Charter Schools in the National and International Context
The Public-Private Pendulum in Michigan
The Emergence of Michigan's Charter School Law
Chapter 3: The Charter School Reform in Michigan
The Charter School Concept in Michigan
The Growth and Development of Michigan Charter Schools
Chapter 4: Charter School Finance - With F. Howard Nelson
How Michigan Funds Charter Schools
General Fund Expenditures
Case Studies of Charter School and School District Revenues and Expenditures
The Cost Advantage of Charter Schools
Chapter 5: Choice and Access
Distribution by Grade
Racial/Ethnic Composition of the Charter Schools
Income, Family Structure, and Other Characteristics
Special Education—or the Lack of It—in Michigan Charter Schools
Beyond Demographics: Reasons for Choosing Charter Schools
Chapter 6: Teachers' Characteristics and Working Conditions
Teacher Demographics
Certification and Qualification of Teachers
Reasons to Seek Employment at a Charter School
Working Conditions and Levels of Satisfaction
Chapter 7: Innovation and Impact
Impact on Surrounding School Districts
Impacts on Educational Practice
The Diffusion of Charter School Innovations and Practices
Chapter 8: Student Achievement
Michigan in National Context
Assessing Charter School Impacts in Michigan
A Summary of the Findings
EMOs and Student Achievement
Chapter 9: Customer Satisfaction
Nontest Indicators of Academic Performance
Satisfaction With and Accomplishment of Mission
Satisfaction With Curriculum and Instruction
Satisfaction With Facilities and Available Resources
The Relationship Between Market and Performance Accountability
Chapter 10: The Effects of Education Management Organizations
The Growth of EMO Involvement in Charter Schools
Roles and Types of EMOs
Ownership of Charter Schools and the Problem of Bundling
Control and Governance of Charter Schools: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?
Operating Charter Schools for Profit: Strategies and Consequences
Chapter 11: Lessons in Choice and Accountability
What's Public About Michigan Charter Schools? A Review of the Evidence
Are Charter Schools a Good Public Investment? The Question of Efficiency
Diagnoses and Prescriptions for Charter School Laws
The Future of Choice and Accountability
Appendix A: Key Historical Developments in Michigan That Have Affected the Public and Private Nature of Schooling
Appendix B: Background and Supporting Documentation for Analysis of Student Achievement
Appendix C: List of EMOs and the Number of Schools They Operated in 2000-01
References
Index

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