ERIC Number: EJ845050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-17
Reference Count: N/A
Obama Team's Advocacy Boosts Charter Momentum
Maxwell, Lesli A.
Education Week, v28 n35 p1, 24-25 Jun 2009
President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have been championing charter schools for months, creating what some advocates believe is the most forceful national momentum to expand the largely independent public schools since the first charter opened nearly 20 years ago. That high-profile advocacy is being matched, moreover, by significant financial leverage, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Mr. Duncan has pledged that states with laws he deems unfriendly to charters will be last in line for the grant money he will have broad authority to award from the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund established under the economic-stimulus law. But while attention from several prominent allies has certainly been a public relations coup for charters--President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and Secretary Duncan have collectively visited at least a half-dozen charter schools since January--the impact remains mixed so far. Issues such as who can authorize charter schools and whether collective bargaining by school employees will be allowed are more controversial, but also more important to the health of the charter sector, said Jeanne Allen, the president of the Center for Education Reform, a Washington-based group that supports charters and other forms of school choice. Still, some advocates are confident that all the charter talk coming out of Washington will change some minds on issues beyond simply raising or removing caps.
Descriptors: Charter Schools, School Choice, Educational Change, Public Schools, Academic Achievement, Enrollment, Grants, School Personnel, Elementary Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Tennessee