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

By Robert Maranto; Scott Milliman et al. | Go to book overview

how charter and district schools compare in terms of academic achievement, innovation, accountability, equality, socialization, and parental and teacher empowerment. The question of which system is better, though, is not one that research alone can answer. Fundamentally, that answer depends on what "better" means and on the values that one holds most dear. For those who wish to empower parents and teachers to take charge of education, the Arizona model holds great appeal. For those who want all citizens to govern education through the political process, the Arizona model will always fall short. The most basic controversies over choice are normative and thus can be presented but not resolved. The research presented here helps to inform those interested in charter schools but does not end the debate. Only the democratic system can provide authoritative answers.


Notes
1.
Indeed, even traditional charter school supporters such as Joe Nathan (personal communication, June 1998) and Ted Kolderie (personal communication, July 1998) argue that Arizona's system is so uncontrolled as to the number and type of operators that it is more akin to vouchers than charter schools.
2.
Though, as will be explored in Chapters 6 and 10 and in the conclusion, there is a question of whether charters present true innovations.

References

Berliner David C., and Bruce J. Biddle. 1995. The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Frauds, and the Attacks on America's Public Schools. Reading, Mass.: Addison- Wesley.

Center for Education Reform. 1998. "Charter School Highlights and Statistics." December 1, 1998, URL: www.edreform.com/ pubs/ chglance.htm.

Chubb John E., and Terry M. Moe. 1990. Politics, Markets, and America's Schools. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

Clinton William Jefferson. 1998. "State of the Union Message." December 1, 1998, URL: www.whitehouse.gov/WH/SOTU98/address.html.

Cookson Peter W., Jr. 1994. School Choice: The Struggle for the Soul of American Education. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

Doherty Kathryn N. 1998. "Changing Urban Education: Defining the Issues." In Changing Urban Education, ed. Clarence N. Stone, 225-249. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.

Feistritzer Emily. 1996. The American Teacher. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Information.

Friedman Milton. 1962. Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Henig Jeffrey R. 1994. Rethinking School Choice: Limits of the Market Metaphor. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hill Paul R., Lawrence C. Pierce, and James W. Guthrie. 1997. Reinventing Public Education: How Contracting and Competition Transform America's Schools. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1: Real World School Choice: Arizona Charter Schools 1
  • Notes 15
  • References 15
  • PART ONE Theoretical and National Perspectives 17
  • 2: And This Parent Went to Market: Education as Public Versus Private Good 19
  • Notes 35
  • Notes 36
  • 3: The Death of One Best Way: Charter Schools as Reinventing Government 39
  • Notes 55
  • References 55
  • 4: Congress and Charter Schools 58
  • Notes 65
  • Notes 67
  • 5: Charter Schools: A National Innovation, an Arizona Revolution 68
  • Notes 92
  • References 92
  • PART TWO Social Scientists Look at Arizona Charter Schools 97
  • 6: The Wild West of Education Reform: Arizona Charter Schools 99
  • References 114
  • 7: Why Arizona Embarked on School Reform (and Nevada Did Not) 115
  • References 127
  • 8: Do Charter Schools Improve District Schools? Three Approaches to the Question 129
  • Notes 139
  • Notes 140
  • 9: Closing Charters: How a Good Theory Failed in Practice 142
  • Conclusion and Recommendations for Policy Makers 156
  • Notes 158
  • References 158
  • 10: Nothing New: Curricula in Arizona Charter Schools 159
  • References 172
  • 11: How Arizona Teachers View School Reform 173
  • Notes 184
  • References 184
  • PART THREE Practitioners Look at Arizona Charter Schools 187
  • 12: The Empowerment of Market-Based School Reform 189
  • Notes 197
  • References 197
  • 13: A Voice from the State Legislature: Don'T Do What Arizona Did! 198
  • Notes 210
  • References 210
  • 14: Public Schools and the Charter Movement: An Emerging Relationship 212
  • Notes 220
  • References 220
  • 15: Whose Idea Was This Anyway? The Challenging Metamorphosis from Private to Charter 222
  • Notes 233
  • References 233
  • PART FOUR Lessons 235
  • 16: In Lieu of Conclusions: Tentative Lessons from a Contested Frontier 237
  • References 247
  • About the Editors and Contributors 249
  • Index 253
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