THE WORK REPORTED in this book has been helped by a number of people and organizations. First, we would like to acknowledge support from the Political Science Program at the National Science Foundation, grant number SES-0314656. As are many other political scientists, we are particularly appreciative of the support (and droll sense of humor) displayed by Frank Scioli, the program director at the NSF. We would also like to thank the Smith Richardson Foundation for its support, particularly the inspirational Phoebe Cottingham, who was the program officer at the foundation when the award was made.
We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Elif Calki, in particular for her work on developing more detailed information about specific charter schools. Erin Cassese, who is a coauthor of chapter 2, also provided feedback on many other chapters. Robert Cane, Executive Director of Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, and Michael Peabody, chair of FOCUS, provided entry into the world of charter schools (without their help, we would never have been able to develop the list of charter school parents that made this study possible). Mary Filardo, Executive Director of the 21st Century School Fund, also provided entry to the world of Washington, D.C. schools. Yi Shang, a Ph.D. student at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, provided invaluable research support in both gathering and analyzing the data. At Stony Brook, Simona Kucsova, who is now an assistant professor at Grand Valley State University, played a similar role. Melissa Marschall, as always, provided helpful suggestions, as did Jeff Henig, Ken Wong, William Howell, and Chris Berry.
Greg Elacqua, Professor at the School of Government at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile and senior adviser to the Minister of Education, helped at many points in the development of this book and in particular provided a valuable cross-national perspective to some of the arguments. Ed Metz provided very constructive feedback on chapter 12, in which we study the role of charter schools in providing civic education and helping to develop democratic citizenship.
Gary King and Jonathan Wand patiently helped us employ the CHOPIT model used in chapter 9. Finally, we would like to thank Hank Levin, of Teachers College, and the National Center for the Study of the Privatization of Education he directs, for providing a forum for early versions of much of this work as well a whole set of constructive comments and criticisms.