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ERIC Number: ED472290
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Autonomy and Innovation: How Do Massachusetts Charter School Principals Use Their Freedom?
Triant, Bill
Charter schools grant significantly more autonomy to their principals than do traditional public schools. This report examines how eight Massachusetts charter-school principals deal with autonomy in five areas: teacher hiring, budgetary control, instruction and curriculum, organizational design, and accountability. The freedom to hire their own teachers was seen as very important by principals. Controlling the school budget is seen as valuable, but charter principals say they spend a lot of time looking at how to cut costs. Most of the principals turned to charter schools out of frustration with the limitations they encountered in the traditional public-school system, and view their new sense of freedom and ability to create a school environment as the best parts of leading charter schools. The author concludes that charter principals are using the freedom granted to them to create schools that would not be possible if the charter law did not exist. It is too soon to judge whether charter schools will drive real improvements in education; this will depend on the ability of charter schools to capture the energy of entrepreneurs by constantly changing, to cultivate new sources, and to attract leaders who know how to use freedom to produce better results. (RT)
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 27 K Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts