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Expect Miracles: Charter Schools and the Politics of Hope and Despair


reviewed by Douglas Harris — 2003

coverTitle: Expect Miracles: Charter Schools and the Politics of Hope and Despair
Author(s): Peter W. Cookson, Jr. and Kristina Berger
Publisher: Westview Press, Boulder, CO
ISBN: 0813366313, Pages: 240, Year: 2002
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Recent attention to vouchers has over-shadowed the much larger existing school choice program in the United States – charter schools.  The charter movement, now a decade old, includes 2,357 schools, encompassing 4 percent of all K-12 schools in the U.S.  How we understand and evaluate such a large school choice program is likely to have a significant impact on the future of the broader choice movement.   Expect Miracles: Charter Schools and the Politics of Hope and Despair makes a significant contribution to understanding charter schools.  In “Part One: The Landscape of Charter Schools,” Cookson and Berger start with a clear and accurate description of charter school history, beginning in Minnesota and extending to the 36 other states that now have similar types of legislation.  They successfully define the charter school concept.  They provide up-to-date descriptions of how it has been applied across states, although it is highly questionable whether charter schools in most states are “held strictly accountable for helping their students achieve academic and other performance goals” (p.3), an... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 4, 2003, p. 649-652
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11005, Date Accessed: 10/19/2017 8:57:37 AM

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