1. These numbers come from the Center for Education Reform, which keeps a running total—and they change frequently. These were downloaded from the center's web site: http://www.edreform.com/index.cfm?fuseAction=state StatChart&psectionid=15&cSectionID=44 (accessed April 4, 2006).
2. The reader is referred to Hill, Pierce, and Guthrie 1997; Hill and Lake 2002; Hassel 1999; Gill et al. 2001; Cookson and Berger 2002.
3. As noted later, it is hard to estimate the rate at which charters are not renewed, but it is probably in the 10–15 percent range.
4. http://www.uscharterschools.org/pub/uscs_docs/o/index.htm (accessed April 4, 2006).
5. Assuming of course that costs do not increase—but most charter schools are funded at the same (or at a lower) level as traditional public schools.
6. The extensive information requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act may dramatically change this.
7. David Tyack is probably the most articulate researcher of the history and status of the common school in the United States. See, for example, Tyack 2004.
8. Cuban (2004) does an excellent job exploring the relationship among education, the economy, and democracy; he also roots the charter-school movement in the historic social and political beliefs about these relationships.
9. In his study of the belief systems of modern economics and their similarity to theology, economist Robert Nelson further suggests that the very market mechanism itself (and not just its application to education), “is best understood as a compelling metaphor for its time designed to attract converts to a new understanding of the progressive gospel of efficiency” (2001, 58).
10. For an accessible introduction to this idea see, for example, Weimer and Vining 2004.
11. Of course, there are noneconomic ways of securing this outcome—compulsory attendance laws try to ensure that all people in the United States have at least a minimum level of education.
12. As noted below in chapters 11 and 12, similar arguments have been leveled against charter schools.
13. On the nature of goods, see, for example, Weimer and Vining 2004, especially chap. 5.
14. On the importance of financing facilities and the extent of inequalities, see the 2005 Thomas B. Fordham Institute Report entitled “Charter School Funding: Inequities Next Frontier,” http://www.edexcellence.net/institute/charterfinance/ (accessed April 4, 2006).
15. One of the best-known EMOs is the Edison Corporation. The performance of Edison schools (as well as the corporation's financial well-being) has been sub-