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ERIC Number: ED528666
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 86
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Hopes, Fears, & Reality: A Balanced Look at American Charter Schools in 2009. 5th Edition
Lake, Robin J., Ed.
Center on Reinventing Public Education
There are a number of critical tests ahead for the charter school sector. This volume of "Hopes, Fears, & Reality" explores these issues. In chapter 1, Jon Christensen, Jacqueline Meijer-Irons, and Robin J. Lake lay out the basic data on charter school growth in the last several years. They examine the growth and character of the charter movement over the last five years to examine how quickly the charter sector continues to grow and whether it serves the country's neediest children. They conclude that charter growth has been robust and consistent, and charters are serving some of the most disadvantaged populations in their communities. In chapter 2, Terry Ryan of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation looks into charters as a school turnaround strategy. It's a cautionary tale, based on Fordham's experience with sponsoring a charter school in Ohio. What about charter schools as an important new model for urban schooling? Katherine Merseth of Harvard University takes up this issue in chapter 3. She outlines the essential components found in a number of high-performing. Can charter schools coexist with teachers unions and perhaps even provide innovative models for shaping productive new union contracts? In chapter 4, Mitch Price from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) considers such questions. Drawing on early lessons from a new study underway at CRPE, Price assesses whether charter unionization is a growing trend, outlines the reasons that charter schools unionize, and describes the potential ways that individual charters can balance unionization and mission. He concludes that: "Charter unionization is not one concept; rather, there are different things going on in different schools motivated by different reasons and yielding different results." In chapter 5, Robin Lake takes up the questions of whether and how charter schools can prompt school districts to become more innovative and performance-oriented. He argues that policymakers and philanthropists could do much more to encourage districts to compete or cooperate with the charter sector, and thereby expand the impact of the nation's high-performing charter schools. Finally, in chapter 6, CRPE's Christine Campbell explores an underutilized opportunity for strengthening charter schools: addressing the quality of charter school governing boards. Each chapter contains figures and notes.
Center on Reinventing Public Education. University of Washington Bothell Box 358200, Seattle, WA 98195. Tel: 206-685-2214; Fax: 206-221-7402; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Washington, Center on Reinventing Public Education
Identifiers - Location: Ohio