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ERIC Number: ED510969
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 41
Alternative Schools: What's in a Name? Education Policy Brief. Volume 7, Number 4, Winter 2009
Cable, Kelly E.; Plucker, Jonathan A.; Spradlin, Terry E.
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University
The first public schools established in America were originally created with the intent to give all children access to an education. An equal education for all meant that a child's parentage and social standing did not, theoretically, dictate his or her future. Today the American public school system has greatly expanded and diverged from the once strictly followed "common school" model to include nontraditional options such as alternative, magnet, charter, virtual, and vocational schools. Amidst so many educational options, a contentious point is whether or not these additional schooling opportunities such as alternative schools better support the egalitarian mission, or if they actually further encourage the stratification of students. There are issues and questions regarding alternative schools for both those who commend and those who critique it. Generalizing advantages and disadvantages is difficult because alternative schools and programs differ widely in theoretical structure and purpose. This brief will describe the origins of alternative schools, different structures of alternative schools and programs, and student achievement, particularly in Indiana. Furthermore, this brief addresses how stereotypes affect alternative schools and their students as well as whether alternative schools support and/or segregate specific group of students. Finally, recommendations are offered concerning the future of alternative education for educators and policymakers to consider. (Contains 4 figures and 7 online resources.)
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. 1900 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47406-7512. Tel: 800-511-6575; Tel: 812-855-4438; Fax: 812-856-5890; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Indiana University, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
IES Cited: ED546775