ERIC Number: ED373444
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May
Reference Count: N/A
Vision and Reality: A First-Year Look at California's Charter Schools.
Dianda, Marcella R.; Corwin, Ronald G.
California's charter-school legislation took effect January 1, 1993, and authorized the creation of up to 100 charter schools. By the end of the year, 44 charter schools were either operating or being planned. This document offers an initial look at California's charter schools. A total of 34 schools responded to a survey of the state's 44 charter schools, a 77 percent response rate. One-half of the responding schools were located in metropolitan communities or districts. Findings indicate that: (1) districts resisted charter schools that sought independence; (2) metropolitan schools faced difficult obstacles, which ranged from lack of support from key district players to resistance to teachers' union and obstructive local rules; (3) most schools were associated with teachers' unions, but relationships were strained; (4) parents were active in many charter schools, especially the newly started ones; (5) at-risk students were served by metropolitan charter schools; (6) charter schools had limited, but perceptible impact; and (7) the schools challenged the notion of no-cost reform. Some reasons why more charter schools are not being planned include lack of startup money, accountability issues, the negotiable state-school district relationship, district restrictions, and teacher resistance. Recommendations are: provide financial support to charter schools from public agencies and private organizations; set aside funds to provide technical support to charter schools seeking assistance; clarify charter schools' legal status; and support studies of innovative practices in charter schools. The appendix contains a copy of the charter school survey and charter school district survey. (LMI)
Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Institutional Autonomy, Local Issues, Nontraditional Education, Private Sector, Resistance to Change, School Districts
Southwest Regional Laboratory, 4665 Lampson Avenue, Los Alamitos, CA 90720.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Lab., Los Alamitos, CA.
Identifiers: California; Charter Schools