ERIC Number: ED411585
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
First Lessons: Charter Schools as Learning Communities. CPRE Policy Briefs, RB-22.
Wohlstetter, Priscilla; Griffin, Noelle C.
Over the past 6 years, 28 states have authorized the creation of charter schools as an alternative form of public education. This policy brief examines the goals and implementation issues specifically related to teaching and learning. It presents findings of a study that explored how learning communities were created and sustained in 17 charter schools in Los Angeles, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. The study was based on the assumption that strong learning communities enhance student performance. Data were gathered through a review of charter-school documents and through focus-group discussions with charter-school founders, administrators, and teachers. The researchers identified four building blocks used by the charter schools to create and sustain learning communities--the school's mission, instructional program, accountability system, and leadership. They also identified three enabling conditions that help to explain the charter schools' varying degrees of success in implementing the four building blocks--a high degree of autonomy and an effective decision-making structure, support networks or organizations, and high levels of parental support. Sidebars offer information on centralized and decentralized management; the growth of charter schools; and state teaching-and-learning goals for charter schools in California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. (Two references and six endnotes are included. (LMI)
Descriptors: Accountability, Charter Schools, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Institutional Autonomy, Institutional Mission, Instructional Effectiveness, Leadership, Parent Participation, School Effectiveness, School Organization
CPRE Publications, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Philadelphia, PA.