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ERIC Number: ED414654
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct-31
Pages: 49
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What's To Negotiate? Interaction in the Absence of Dialogue: The Battle over Vouchers and Charter Schools.
Fusarelli, Lance D.
Research suggests that policy change can best be understood as the product of competition among advocacy coalitions within the constraints of a policy subsystem (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1993). This paper presents findings of a study that examined the rhetoric of policy change in Texas utilizing the voucher and charter-schools movements as an illustrative case study. Data sources included newspapers, journals, official documents, congressional testimony, and transcripts. The paper concludes that the battle over vouchers and charter schools in Texas may be viewed as a series of political maneuvers over the creation of meaning: the construction of beliefs about events, policies, leaders, problems, and crises that rationalize or challenge existing inequalities. Charter-school legislation in 1995 was successful because the rhetorical scope of the conflict was narrow. The major political advantage of charter schools is that they occupy something of a middle ground between the public education system as it is currently structured on the one hand and a voucher system on the other hand (Sauter 1993). Because charter schools stay within the realm of the public sphere, charter schools were more politically palatable to a legislature committed to educational reform. However, the scope of the conflict over vouchers was much larger and thus less easily controlled by any single group. The broader scope encompassed such issues as inclusion/exclusion and conflict between the public and private spheres. Issues of class, ethnicity, and inequality which were largely excluded from the dialogue on charter schools could not be excluded from the dialogue on school vouchers. (Contains 103 references). (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas