ERIC Number: EJ956835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Reference Count: 108
The Line between Cultural Education and Religious Education: Do Ethnocentric Niche Charter Schools Have a Prayer?
Fox, Robert A.; Buchanan, Nina K.; Eckes, Suzanne E.; Basford, Letitia E.
Review of Research in Education, v36 n1 p282-305 Mar 2012
When first conceived, charter schools were envisioned as local projects initiated by parents and/or groups of teachers seeking to improve the educational performance of students. In the past two decades, the phenomenon has expanded to more than 5% of all U.S. public schools and almost 3% of all students (Center for Education Reform [CER], 2009). During this time, groups have come onto the charter school landscape representing points of view that were not a part of the original rhetoric. In the area of charter school creation and management, the originally envisioned groups of parents and teachers have been joined by educational management organizations and charter management organizations. Another of these phenomena are the so-called ethnocentric niche charter schools that seek to integrate the celebration of cultural, ethnic, linguistic, or philosophical concepts into the educational process. This chapter provides examples of two types of ethnocentric schools and examines whether they are able to operate within the legal constraints imposed on them by state charter school laws and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The authors describe the history of litigation and public discussion that accompanies the establishment of ethnocentric niche charter schools and conclude that a new research focus is necessary to evaluate properly this new phenomenon. (Contains 3 notes.)
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Goal Orientation, Educational Improvement, Ethnocentrism, School Culture, Student Subcultures, Cultural Education, Educational Administration, State Church Separation, Self Expression, Religious Factors, Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Educational Change, Islam, Muslims
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii; Minnesota; Somalia; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment