ERIC Number: ED418173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Choice and Charter Schools in Canada: The Myths, Politics, and Reality.
The myths, politics, and realities of public school choice in Canada are explored. With the crisis of confidence in the public education system that has been documented in recent years, parents are seeking to ensure academic success for their children through choice of schools, under the theory that there is no universal best school model. Public school choice encompasses a number of initiatives to provide a variety of learning environments for different learning needs. Alternatives envisioned for Canadian public schools revolve around school mission, ethos, discipline, standards, time tables, methods of instruction, magnet programs, and degree of parental involvement. Even when parents are armed with information about programs available, access to choice varies widely in Canada. Canadian school boards, with some exceptions, have hardly welcomed the pressure for more school choice, and teachers have demonstrated discomfort with allowing parents to choose between schools. One alternative that is creating great interest is that of charter schools, public schools that operate with a performance contract negotiated with the school board or state. The charter school experience in the United States and a study of the Canadian charter experience in Alberta provide information that should enlighten the political debate over charter schools that is ongoing in Canada, especially in the media. Charter schools in Canada may remain a handful of isolated experiments, or their momentum may grow. Recommendations are made for studying charter school proposals and implementations. (Contains 48 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education, Kelowna (British Columbia).
Note: Paper presented at the American Sociology of Education Conference (Monterey, CA, February 8, 1998).