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ERIC Number: EJ763297
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Charters as Role Models
Petrilli, Michael J.
Education Next, v5 n3 p56-58 Sum 2005
The charter school movement turns 14 this year, and its behavior, some might say, is "developmentally appropriate." Unruly and temperamental, impassioned and energetic, growing in fits and starts and fiercely independent, even friends and supporters aren't quite sure what to do with it. And now comes the apex of adolescence: the identity crisis. Charters were born of disparate theories, education initiatives, and social philosophies. But now public policies--certainly No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but also the state standards movement that preceded it--are forcing long-delayed conversations about the real point of charter schools. In practice, this debate has itself reached a critical juncture. NCLB, supported by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress, makes it clear that all public schools--including charter schools--must be held accountable for raising student achievement and closing achievement gaps. The achievement-level design of the NCLB accountability system creates some challenges for new schools like charters. But this may be NCLB's greatest gift to the charter movement: underperforming charters will surely be closed, leaving only the strongest to represent the movement as a whole. The author is hopeful that the charter movement will find its way, never giving up the innovation and energy that makes it special, but also shouldering the load of helping to close the nation's achievement gaps. When it does so, it will be declared not only a success in its own right, but a role model for the entire public education system. (Contains 1 figure.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001