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Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools


reviewed by V. Darleen Opfer — December 22, 2008

coverTitle: Spin Cycle: How Research Is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools
Author(s): Jeffrey R. Henig
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation, New York
ISBN: 0871543397, Pages: 297, Year: 2008
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Jeffrey Henig’s book, Spin Cycle: How Research is Used in Policy Debates: The Case of Charter Schools, investigates the causes of the politicization of charter school research. The impetus for his book is an article appearing on the front page, “above the fold,” of the New York Times, in August 2004. The article described a report released, as an exclusive to the Times, by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on the performance of charter schools. The AFT report detailed National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test results comparing charter schools to regular public schools obtained from the U.S. Department of Education’s website. The Times article began, “The first national comparison of test scores among children in charter schools and regular public schools shows charter school students often doing worse than comparable students in regular public schools” (Schemo, 2004, as quoted in Henig, pp. 1-2). The article went on, Henig... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: December 22, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15469, Date Accessed: 12/15/2017 6:47:32 PM

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About the Author
  • V. Darleen Opfer
    University of Cambridge
    E-mail Author
    DARLEEN OPFER is a senior lecturer in research methods at the University of Cambridge. She has research interests including interest group influence, the political aspects of policymaking, and the impact of high stakes accountability policies on schools, teachers, and students. She has completed both large- and small-scale policy evaluations for state and international agencies. Funded research projects have included the impact of accountability policies, teachers' professional development, school districts’ efforts to close achievement gaps, teacher mobility and attrition, and charter school accountability.
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