America's Quiet Revolution

By Price, Joyce Howard; Hunker, Paula Gray | Insight on the News, June 22, 1998 | Go to article overview

America's Quiet Revolution


Price, Joyce Howard, Hunker, Paula Gray, Insight on the News


The charter-school movement is gaining momentum as parents seek educational options. By fall, more than 250,000 students will attend more than 800 such schools in 31 states.

A sudden surge in the number of charter schools during the last two years is transforming the business of public education. The growth is sparked by parents dissatisfied with their youngsters' public schooling and by entrepreneurs eager to provide a better education, often for profit.

Charter schools are supported by federal and local funds but run by private managers -- the "charter" granted by local or state school authorities for three to five years. To obtain a charter, applicants usually need to provide a suitable building, a curriculum and proof of financial resources to cover start-up costs. Since 1991, when the first such school opened its doors in Minnesota, 31 states have authorized the establishment of charter schools. By fall, more than 250,000 youngsters will be enrolled nationwide.

"We have a revolution going on, and no one knows about it," says; Mike Peabody, co-president of Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, or FOCUS, a group dedicated to improving education opportunities in Washington. The Center for Education Reform ranks Arizona's charter law, enacted in 1994, first in the country in terms of "expansiveness," with Michigan second and Washington third. It rates the laws of Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia as most restrictive. In May, Milwaukee became what is believed to be the first municipality in the country with the power to create charter schools that operate outside the public-school system. Several city-sponsored charter schools could be in business by fall.

Applicants and operators of charter schools are a varied group, including corporate sponsors such as Ford as well as public schools, parents, teachers and universities. The schools differ widely in instructional focus and procedures, but more am 40 percent of 261 charter-school respondents to a 1996-97 survey indicated that they stressed traditional, "back to-basics" learning or a core-knowledge curriculum. Others emphasize thematic instruction such as music or the arts or public policy. There are charter schools for special education, math, science, high technology, bilingual education and foreign language. Still others are alternative Montessori schools, while some promote "school-to-work' programs

The diversity of approach among charter schools is demonstrated by the huge gap that exists between instructional operations at Eddie Farnsworth three charter schools in Arizona and a National Education Association, or NEA, charter school in Norwich, Conn. Farnsworth, a corporate lawyer who heads the Arizona Charter School Association, was motivated to start a charter school because of the "rough environment" at a school his children attended. The three schools he now operates, all of which go by the name Benjamin Franklin Charter School, are traditional, safe, structured and focused on scholastics, according to Farnsworth. "We don't allow gangs or cussing, and kids are not allowed to run rampant."

In contrast, Andrea DiLorenzo, charter-school coordinator for the NEA, says the NEA charter school in Connecticut fosters independent study. She says the school, which accepts children in grades kindergarten through six, keeps children together in the same class for several years so they can "work together on research projects."

"The basic concept of charter schools is accountability for results, not regulation," says Theodore Rebarber, vice president for education at Advantage Schools Inc., a private firm that manages charter schools in Phoenix and Rocky Mount, N.C., with five more scheduled to open this fall. According to Rebarber, charter schools tend to attract a slightly higher percentage of students who are low-income or slightly behind academically. "These are children of parents who are looking for options" he says. …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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

America's Quiet Revolution
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    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

    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.