Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education

By Chester E. Finn Jr.; Bruno V. Manno et al. | Go to book overview

7
THE CASE AGAINST
CHARTER SCHOOLS: A TEN-COUNT
INDICTMENT
IN PART I, we peered into specific charter schools, surveying their accomplishments and problems. But we are only half done. The charter phenomenon reaches well beyond individual schools and the people they touch directly. It also raises a host of big-picture questions, figures in tough political struggles, alters the practices of entire school districts, bolsters communities, and leaves tracks on American education as a whole. Part II considers these issues.The present chapter weighs the case against charter schools. Any bold reform strategy inevitably gives rise to doubts and objections. Opponents, critics, and anxious interest groups will naturally emerge. Though some charter doubters pose meretricious and self-serving objections, others are sincerely concerned with the well-being of children and the soul of public education.
TEN ALLEGATIONS
We have identified ten weighty charges against charter schools. Some are legitimate, others specious. Most lie somewhere in between. Some of these points are discussed fully here; others recap explanations made elsewhere in these pages and are given in brief. Here are the indictments:
1. Charter schools rob funds — and students — from regular public schools.
2. Charter schools are too risky.
3. Charter schools are not truly accountable.
4. Charter schools are not really different from regular schools.
5. Charter schools "cream" the most fortunate kids and leave the neediest behind.
6. Charter schools don't adequately serve disabled youngsters.

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Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Charter Schools in Action - Renewing Public Education *
  • Contents *
  • Tables *
  • List of Interviews and Profiles *
  • Introduction *
  • Part I Charter Schools in Action *
  • 1: What's a "Charter School"? *
  • 2: Field Trips *
  • 3: Where Did They Come From? *
  • 4: How Are They Working? *
  • 5: Trials by Fire *
  • 6: The Accountability Puzzle *
  • Part II Renewing Public Education *
  • 7: The Case Against Charter Schools *
  • 8: Political Battlegrounds *
  • 9: Beyond the Schoolhouse Door *
  • 10: Beyond the Schoolhouse Door *
  • 11: The Great Issues *
  • 12: Will Charter Schools Save Public Education? *
  • Epilogue *
  • Appendix: Survey Results and Methodology *
  • Index *
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