School Choice in the Real World: Lessons from Arizona Charter Schools

By Robert Maranto; Scott Milliman et al. | Go to book overview
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improving the system of communication. Charter school advocates call the policy a success. Yet, no charter schools are likely to be closed (short of being caught in the act of major fraud) because parents and sponsoring board members lack the necessary data to make any evaluative judgments. In sum, the rhetoric of advocates has not lived up to the practical results.


Notes
1.
We gave our interviewees the choice of releasing their identity or protecting it. Most participants allowed us to present their real names, especially legislators and sponsoring board members, who were interested in getting credit for their opinions and ideas. Others were less interested in the publicity and, consequently, names were withheld and/or altered to protect their anonymity. In these instances a job title was substituted in place of a name to convey a respondent's background and insight.
2.
Seeking subsidies tends to be diametrically opposed to the typical charter philosophy of less bureaucracy. Moreover, according to financial data from the annual report of the superintendent of public instruction for the 1995-1996 school year, the forty-six schools sponsored by the ASBE and SBCS spent a total of just over $500,000 on special needs services. One single school (Carmel Community) spent over $200,000 of that total. Clearly, most charters did not take advantage of special education funds.
3.
The authors needed to access the ADE web site frequently for the study and were often frustrated with their inability to get necessary information from the site. According to personal communications with several other researchers, this web site's dysfunction was a common problem during that time.

References

Miles M. B., and A. M. Huberman. 1994. An Expanded Sourcebook: Qualitative Data Analysis. 2d ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Nowicki Dan. 1998. "Governor Aims at Charters: Says Schools Need More Over- sight from State, Better Business Plans." Tribune, August 28.

Yin R. K. 1994. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

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