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ERIC Number: ED444238
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-26
Pages: 38
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Redefining "Public" Education: Charter Schools, Common Schools, and the Rhetoric of Reform.
Lubienski, Chris
This paper examines various claims made by charter-school advocates that charter schools are publicly funded, open to all, are chartered by public entities, and thus are a form of public schooling. It addresses this subject by comparing the rhetoric of Michigan's charter-school reformers with that of the common-school reformers of the 19th century, particularly Horace Mann. The analysis finds conflicting definitions of what constitutes public schooling. Whereas both types of reform support tax-funded schools and open access, the common-school reformers emphasized political-democratic forms of control. Charter-school advocates actively challenge such control and claim that market mechanisms of consumer choice and competition among providers are the primary means of authority. Furthermore, proponents of charter schools seek to "redefine" popular conceptions of what constitutes public and private education. In doing so, they frame education principally as a consumer good, and thus effect a privatization of the purpose of public education that contrasts with the common-school reformers' stated concern for democracy and the public good. The paper suggests that the rhetoric of charter-school advocates promotes depublicization and a redefinition of the "public" in education away from that of an institution of and for the public good. (Contains approximately 120 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan