Studies

Charter Schools Passing or Failing

Moreover, weak laws make provisions that do not permit the proposed charter school to maintain autonomy from school districts either financially or legally. In other words, weak charter laws do not permit charter schools to become segregated from the ambit of state laws or district regulations although some laws may allow for waivers in appropriate cases. (Mulholland, 1) Buechler (1996) describes these charter school laws as restrictive. Strong charter school laws have a more liberal approach to the creation of charter schools and provide for a greater measure of deregulation. To this end, Buechler (1996) describes strong charter school laws as expansive.Moreover, weak laws make provisions that do not permit the proposed charter school to maintain autonomy from school districts either financially or legally. In other words, weak charter laws do not permit charter schools to become segregated from the ambit of state laws or district regulations although some laws may allow for waivers in appropriate cases. (Mulholland, 1) Buechler (1996) describes these charter school laws as restrictive. Strong charter school laws have a more liberal approach to the creation of charter schools and provide for a greater measure of deregulation. To this end, Buechler (1996) describes strong charter school laws as expansive. The strong laws support the original idea that:…schools freed of most of the regulatory constraints normally applicable to public schools can stimulate academic excellence in ways that traditional neighborhood schools cannot. (Brown-Nagin, 753-886)Out of this ideology the resulting charter school is seen as somewhat aligned to a cross between private and public schools. Conservatives have generally been supportive of this kind of alternative education and to this end over 2000 charter schools were mandated by various state charters since 1991 so that by the year 2000 there were at least 37 states with charters. (Brown-Nagin, 753-886) By 2008 forty states had active charter laws permitting charter schools. (The Center for Education Reform, 2008) The Policy and Program Studies Service of the US Department of Education outlined the characteristics of the charter school system in its Evaluation of the Public Charter Schools Program: Final Report (2004). According to this report charter schools are public schools operating under a contract commonly referred to as a charter.

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