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ERIC Number: EJ1001884
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
An Unfortunate Misunderstanding: Saga of a Promising New Charter School
Gonzales, Grace
Rethinking Schools, v27 n3 p36-41 Spr 2013
Although the author thinks of herself as firmly against attempts to fragment and privatize public education, she was going to work for a charter school. She had a couple of ways of justifying that decision. The charter school, which was just starting up, had a wonderful educational philosophy and would be using first-rate curricula--workshop-based, experiential, project-oriented--a far cry from the scripted curricula she had been forced to work with in her previous school. She was told this new school had ties to a successful community preschool that had been operating for many years. If she began the year thinking that the school could be different, she ended it with a profound understanding of how pervasive many of the issues that arise around charter schools really are. She worried that the school would ultimately turn out to be less community-based than it appeared. As it played out, those fears were founded. When details about school operations had to be filled in, they drew on philosophies of the wider charter school movement--at-will contracts, extended hours, extended school years, merit-based pay, strong reliance on private philanthropy, and a host of other policies that they labeled best practices. She hopes that the story of that first year can be useful to other educators, especially when it comes to understanding how what appears to be a community school can, in the hands of a few people, turn into something very different, ultimately disempowering the people--teachers, administrators, and parents--who are the key to its success.
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A