Charter Schools: From Reform Imagery to Reform Reality by Jeanne M. Powers (auth.)

By Jeanne M. Powers (auth.)

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By Jeanne M. Powers (auth.)

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Extra info for Charter Schools: From Reform Imagery to Reform Reality

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However, Michigan public universities are only empowered to authorize up to 150 PSAs. There are no limits on the number of PSAs that can be approved by the other PSA sponsors. There are no caps on the overall number of charter schools that can be authorized in Arizona. California’s charter school law limited the total number of charter schools in the state to a total of 250 for the 1998–1999 academic year; in each subsequent year the cap is raised by an additional 1000 schools. In 2005–2006, the cap was 950 schools, which was far higher than the 542 charter schools in operation that year.

For example, while six of the nine states’ charter school laws note that charter schools are intended to increase learning opportunities for all students, three of these contain an additional clause stating that charter schools are specifically intended to increase learning opportunities for low-achieving students. Similarly, while five states’ laws frame charter schools as a means to improve student learning, the statement of legislative intent in Colorado’s charter school law makes the more forceful assertion that charter schools will “improve student learning by creating schools with high, rigorous standards for pupil performance” (Colorado Rev.

Grouping the goals into broad categories allows us to see the similarities across the eight states as well as the nuances within each category. 1 suggests that while there is a good deal of variation in the goals for charter schools across states, there is also a fair amount of consistency. Not surprisingly, seven of the eight states saw charter schools as a way to expand school choice for parents and students. After school choice, the three most widely shared goals for charter school reform were: (1) improve pupil learning; (2) increase learning opportunities for all students; and (3) expand professional opportunities for teachers.

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