How Charter Schools Do, and Don't Inspire Change in Traditional Public School Districts

By Linick, Matthew; Lubienski, Christopher | Childhood Education, March-April 2013 | Go to article overview

How Charter Schools Do, and Don't Inspire Change in Traditional Public School Districts


Linick, Matthew, Lubienski, Christopher, Childhood Education


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In 1991, the state of Minnesota succeeded in proposing and passing the first charter school legislation in the United States. Soon after, in 1992, California passed its own charter school legislation. Now, charter school legislation has passed in over 40 states and has enjoyed bi-partisan support from conservatives and liberals, and from some teachers' unions and entrepreneurs (Lubienski & Weitzel, 2010). Throughout the United States, school districts, non-for-profits, universities, and other organizations have sponsored charter schools in urban, suburban, and rural communities. One result of this proliferation is an increase in the competitive pressures that district-run public schools face.

Considering the growing numbers of charter schools and the continued effort to expand charter school legislation (Fact Sheet: Race to the Top, 2009), it is important for teachers, school leaders, teacher educators, students, families, and policymakers to understand the impact of charter schools. The wide-ranging and multi-faceted effects of charter school competition on district-run public schools have been studied in a variety of ways. Such studies have shown that the climate of the school, the nature of district leadership, and the motivation of teachers are directly related to a district's ability to respond to competitive pressure (Hess, 2001; Hess et al., 2001 a). Understanding what aspects of this competition provoke responses and what those responses bring can be of great benefit to those working in and leading district-run public schools and charter schools alike. If charter schools are to be viewed as an opportunity to improve student learning, rather than an obstacle to be overcome, teachers and school leaders should be aware of why and how districts typically respond to charter school competition.

Charter schools, like district-run public schools, receive public funding. Unlike district-run public schools, however, charter schools operate outside the traditional public education system and so are able to avoid much of the bureaucracy of the traditional system. In exchange for this freedom, charter schools are held to high accountability standards. Charter schools also typically circumvent traditional geographic school districts by opening themselves to students from across district boundaries; students who leave the district-run public school bring their public funding with them. Therefore, if a charter school fails to attract or retain students, it loses its funding and is forced to close. At the same time, district-run public schools are forced to compete with the charter schools for local students. In other words, both charter schools and district-run public schools are striving to attract the same students and families. This competition between the charter school and the district-run public school, many believe, will result in increased efficiency and effectiveness in both institutions (Chubb & Moe, 1990; Freidman, 1955; Hoxby, 2000).

For some, charter schools represent the hope of improved student learning and performance. One way charter schools can improve student learning is by leveraging competitive pressure to improve the performance of district-run public schools. Unfortunately, studies examining whether increased charter school competition has improved achievement at district-run public schools show mixed results. Some studies found small, positive results for charter school competition (Booker, Gilpatric, Gronberg, 86 Jansen, 2008; Sass, 2006), and some studies found no effects (Bettinger, 2005; Bifulco & Ladd, 2006).

Ideally, the introduction of a charter school, and the resulting increase in competitive forces in the local education market, may compel a public school district to respond to the potential loss of funding in terms of per-pupil dollars, or the loss of human capital--as the higher SES and more likely to be successful students are motivated to exit the district-run system. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How Charter Schools Do, and Don't Inspire Change in Traditional Public School Districts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.