ERIC Number: ED465217
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Charter Districts: Much Fuss, Little Gain.
Lockwood, Anne Turnbaugh
At first glance, charter districts seem to offer an inventive way to conduct the business of schooling. While charter schools extend a new, but relatively small, building-focused alternative to educational consumers, charter districts have the potential to free public education at a much larger level and with a more comprehensive scope. This paper seeks to answer questions about whether a superintendent should seek charter status for an entire district and whether the opportunity should be seized, if available under state law, to convert a district to charter status. The rationale for charter districts is first explained. Next, the charter-district legislation in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, and Texas is analyzed. Third, the experiences of administrators in different charter districts are discussed and summarized. Finally, the evidence culled from their experiences is examined, suggesting that charter districts have the potential to become a major force in American education. At present, charter districts are still strongly influenced by community traditions and conservative parent-held values. These factors combine in complex ways with the district's desire for change and the need to conduct it in politically safe ways. The paper concludes with a list of charter districts nationwide. (RT)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of School Administrators, Arlington, VA.