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The Charter School Landscape

reviewed by Carol Ascher - 2003

coverTitle: The Charter School Landscape
Author(s): Sandra Vergari (ed.)
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA
ISBN: 0822941805 , Pages: 312, Year: 2002
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If university pressures tend to engender edited collections by academic presses, charter school reform has spawned more than its share of this form. An edited collection avoids the tusk being mistaken for the whole elephant, and works against either a celebratory or condemnatory tone dominating an entire book. Yet collections are intellectually cautious enterprises; charter schools are overdue the brave risks—and deep insights—made possible only in a long monograph or book. Though Sandra Vergari’s volume doesn’t transcend the limitations of a collection, The Charter School Landscape contains much interesting information, insights, and analyses. Twelve contributors report on charter reform in eleven states, and one Canadian province, Alberta. Each describes the history and context of charter legislation in his or her respective jurisdiction, along with how the law has been amended and implemented, often including information on finances and facilities, student demography and performance. Though most of the authors are mild to strong supporters of charter reform, their stories are not always of idealism exerted by either charter school advocates... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 7, 2003, p. 1302-1306
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11082, Date Accessed: 2/28/2021 11:07:25 PM

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About the Author
  • Carol Ascher
    New York University
    E-mail Author
    CAROL ASCHER is senior research scientist at the Institute for Education and Social Policy. For the past five years she has directed both national and local research on charter schools. Her studies on charter school reform in New York State have appeared in several reports: Going Charter: Lessons from Two First-Year Studies (2000); Going Charter: New Models of Support (2001); Going Charter, Year three, Findings from New York City’s Charter Schools (2002); and The Implementation of Performance-Based Accountability by New York’s Three Charter School Authorizers, Findings from Year Three (2002). She is co-author of Hard Lessons: Public Schools and Privatization (Century Press, 1996).
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