Coverage of Charter Schools in Education Week -- a good collection  of news items and resources.


Charter Schools -- a good overview essay in Education Week that includes good links to research reports in the bibliography.

A Recent Overview Article about Vouchers in Education Week -- a good up-to-date summary on the topic of school vouchers.

Can Competition Really Improve Schools? -- an article that presents both sides of the debate over school choice, including recent evidence that raises questions.

Not Waiting for Superman -- a website devoted to countering many of the arguments made in the film, "Waiting for Superman," which advocates for the development of more charter schools and more school choice as vehicles for public school reform -- the site includes important information and perspective not presented (or misrepresented) in the film.

The Myth of Charter Schools -- a review of the film "Waiting for Superman" by Diane Ravitch, the once ultra conservative education historian and policy expert who has experienced a substantial about face.

No Longer "Waiting for Superman" -- an article critical of the film, "Waiting for Superman," a documentary that advocates for the development of more charter schools and more school choice as vehicles for public school reform.

Supersized Dollars Drive "Waiting for Superman" Agenda -- an article about the funding behind the film and who stands to make millions participating in the charter school movement. 

Diane Ravitch Interview: The Death and Life of the Great American School System -- an interview with well known conservative scholar Diane Ravitch, who was an Assistant Secretary of Education under Pres. George H.W. Bush -- about her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, in which she does an about face and criticizes No Child Left Behind and its emphasis on standardized testing, school choice, vouchers and charter schools. These are all ideas Ravitch has previously championed.

The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts -- a 2010 study of 36 charter middle schools across 15 states, conducted by the U.S. government, that found: "On average, charter middle schools that hold lotteries are neither more nor less successful than traditional public schools in improving student achievement, behavior, and school progress."

America's Private Public Schools -- a 2010 study that reports there are 2,800 selective, "elite" public schools nationally that serve virtually no poor students -- and 79 of these are charter schools.

Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards -- a 2010 report by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA that argues many charter schools contribute to greater segregation not integration, and, thus, they need more regulation in accordance with civil rights objectives.

Equity Overlooked: Charter Schools and Civil Rights Policies -- a national study from 2009 that reports that the racial composition of charter schools reinforces segregation more than integration.

Create Charter Schools That Reduce Segregation -- an excellent 2009 article that offers overview and review of much of the charter school research -- includes links to a number of good studies.

Informing the Debate -- a 2009 Harvard/MIT study that compares the performance of students in Boston's charter, pilot, and traditional schools. While some charter schools do better than the city's regular public schools, some do not.

Why School Choice Fails -- This article looks at the negative effects of school choice on middle class and lower income families. It also notes the negative effect of school choice on the schools and neighborhoods that these families live in.

Rhetoric Versus Reality: What We know and What We Need to Know about Vouchers and Charter Schools -- a 2007 update of a 2001 book published by the Rand Foundation in support of vouchers and charter schools -- the entire book is available here free, online.

Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools -- a 2011 article that raises serious questions about the quality and business practices of online charter schools, which often generate very large profits for their parent companies while failing to produce student achievement that meets national and state standards, and all with public tax dollars.

Study Shows Better Scores for Charter Schools -- a 2009 study of New York City Charter Schools, which compared charter school students with students who had applied to those schools but by lottery had not gotten in, found that the charter school students scored better on a number of standardized tests.

Charter School Performance in New York City -- a study done by a research group at Standford University that reports: 51% of New York City charter schools produced academic gains in math, while in reading only 30% of NYC charters performed better on average than their local public alternatives.

Education Week Article about 2002 Supreme Court Decision Concerning the Use of Vouchers for Religious Schools (Zelman v. Simmons-Harris) -- a 2002 article about the precedent setting decision that ruled school vouchers may be used to send children to private religious schools.

The Prospects for Education Vouchers After the Supreme Court Ruling -- in June 2002, newspapers were full of headlines about how the U.S. Supreme Court had approved vouchers for America’s schools. In fact, the Supreme Court had only considered the legal status of a small voucher program in Ohio, the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program. This report discusses the meaning and significance of the High Court's ruling.

Georgia Ruling Leaves Charters' Fate Uncertain -- a 2011 article discussing a legal case in which the state-level Georgia State Charter School Commission was deemed in conflict with the state constitution which gives control of education to local districts.  The issue is whether the state-level commission can have control over local schools when this is counter to the fact that local school districts are given this control in the Georgia state constitution.

School Vouchers and Students with Disabilities -- a 2003 report by the National Council on Disability about whether vouchers will benefit or harm the education of students with disabilities.

Panel Reports Concerns On Special Education Vouchers -- a federal panel raises questions about vouchers because of their likely impact on students with disabilites.

Public School Choice: Issues and Concerns for Urban Educators -- a summary discussion of school choice and recommendations for making choice more equitable.

Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools -- This article explores many of the problems with online charter schools. It examines the achievement and retention rates and standards of “for-profit” online schools, as well as issues of funding and financial expenditure.

The Preuss School -- a successful charter middle and high school dedicated to providing a rigorous college prep education for motivated low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college -- affiliated with the Univ. of California, San Diego.

You Can Homeschool --  This website provides an introduction for parents who are interested in homeschooling.

National Black Home Educators -- This association offers support and fellowship to families who are exploring the benefits of home schooling.

Homeschooling Legal Defense -- This association provides legal information about homeschooling.

Books & Articles

Andre-Bechely, L. 2005. Could It Be Otherwise? Parents and the Inequalities of Public School Choice. Routledge.

Arum, R. 1996. Do Private Schools Force Public Schools to Compete? American Sociological Review, 61(1): 29-46.

Bracy, G. 2002. The War Against America's Public Schools: Privatizing Schools, Commercializing Education. Allyn and Bacon.

Brighouse, H. 2000. School Choice and Social Justice. Oxford Univ. Press.

Chubb, J. & Moe, T. 1990. Politics, Markets, and America's Schools. Brookings Institution.

Corwin, R. & Schneider, J. 2005. The School Choice Hoax: Fixing America’s Schools. Praeger.

Dillon, S. 2004. Collapse of 60 Charter School Leaves Californians Scrambling. New York Times, Sept. 17.

Fabricant, M. 2011.  Charter Schools and the Corporate Makeover of Public Education. Teachers College Press.

Fuller, B. & Elmore, R. 1996. Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture, Institutions, and the Unequal Effects of School Choice. Teachers College Press.

Good, T. & Braden, J. 2000. The Great School Debate: Choice, Vouchers, and Charters. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Goldhaber, D. & Eide, E. 2002. What Do We Know (and Need to Know) about the Impact of School Choice Reforms on Disadvantaged Students? Harvard Educational Review, 72(2): 157-176.

Greene, J. P. et al., 1998. School Choice in Milwaukee: A Randomized Experiment. In P. Peterson and B. Hassel (Eds.) Learning from School Choice. Brookings Institution.

Holme, J. 2002. Buying Homes, Buying Schools: School Choice and the Social Construction of School Quality. Harvard Educational Review, 72(2): 177-205.

Howe, K. & Welner, K. 2002. School Choice and the Pressure to Perform: Deja Vu for Children with Disabilities? Remedial and Special Education, v. 23 (4): 212-221.

Levin, H. 1998. Educational Vouchers: Effectiveness, Choice and Costs. Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Summer, v.17 n3 p. 373.

Lubienski, C. & Weitzen, P.  2010.  The Charter School Experiment: Expectations, Evidence, and Implications. Harvard Education Press.

Mendez, T. 2004. Can Competition Really Improve Schools? Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 7, p. 12.

Merseth, K. et al. 2009.  Inside Urban Charter Schools: Promising Practices and Strategies in Five High-Performing Schools.  Harvard Education Press.

Miner, B. 2000. No One Really Knows How Children in Milwaukee's Voucher Schools Are Faring. The Nation, June 5, v. 270, p. 23.

Peterson, P. & Campbell, D. (Eds.) 2002. Charters, Vouchers, and Public Education. Brookings Institution Press.

Rethinking Schools. 2000. Selling Out Our Schools. Rethinking Schools.

Rosen, G. 2000. Are School Vouchers Un-American? Commentary, Feb. v109, p. 26.

Rouse, C. 1998. Private School Vouchers and Student Achievement: An Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 113: 553-602.

Samuels, C. & Reid, K. 2005. Ohio OK's Vouchers for Pupils in Low-Rated Schools. Education Week, July 13.

Schorr, J. 2002. Hard Lessons: The Promise of an Inner City Charter School. Ballantine.

Watkins, W. (Ed.) 2011. The Assault on Public Education: Confronting the Politics of Corporate School Reform. Teachers College Press.

Wells, A. 1993. Time to Choose: America at the Crossroads of School Choice Policy. Hill and Wang.

Wells, A. 2002. Where Charter School Policy Fails: The Problems of Accountability and Equity. Teachers College Press.

Witte, J. 2000. The Market Approach to Education: An Analysis of America’s First Voucher Program. Princeton Univ. Press.

Films & Videos

The Bottom Line, 2001 (Stone Lantern Films) -- a documentary about the movement toward vouchers and charter schools that raises questions about the consequences for democratic principles of education.