ERIC Number: ED407708
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Political Factors Shaping Charter School Laws.
Mintrom, Michael; Vergari, Sandra
The charter-school idea has spread rapidly across the United States. One-half of the states have adopted charter-school laws since 1991, and legislatures in other states have given the idea careful consideration. This paper explores the political factors that shape charter-school laws. The paper utilizes the policy-innovation-diffusion framework that political scientists have developed for assessing the state-to-state spread of policy laws. The paper augments the framework by considering how innovations change as they diffuse and how differences in state politics and interstate networking influence policy choices. The study draws heavily upon findings from a 50-state mail survey of education policy experts. Surveys were sent to 241 individuals in the 25 states with charter-school laws and to 216 individuals in the 25 states without charter-school laws, eliciting a 25 percent response rate. The study then used event-history models to test for regularities and differences among states in the factors that prompted consideration of the charter-school idea and the adoption of permissive laws in some states and restrictive laws in others. Applied more generally, the paper suggests that this analytical strategy could enhance understanding of the politics of policy-innovation diffusion. Nine tables are included. (Contains 54 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).