Cover image for Charter school operations and performance : evidence from California
Charter school operations and performance : evidence from California
Zimmer, Ron W.
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : Rand, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxxii, 280 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
At bottom of t.p.: Rand Education.

"MR-1700-EDU"--P. [4] of cover.
Reading Level:
1530 Lexile.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB2806.36 .C517 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The report analyzes an array of issues pertaining to accessibility, student achievement, governance, and operation of charter schools in California. Four specific research questions were investigated: (1) What population of students attends charter schools? (2) Is student achievement higher in charter schools than in conventional public schools? (3) What oversight and support do the chartering authorities provide? (4) How do charter schools differ from their conventional public school counterparts in terms of their operation, including finances, academic achievement, and staffing?

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This study uses survey research to assess and evaluate differences between California charter schools and its public schools. The subjects considered include academic achievement, finance and organizational structure, staffing, curriculum, and special education. Those who believe charter schools will have a revolutionary effect on education will not be pleased by its conclusion that there is "no single charter school approach and therefore no single charter school effect." Charter schools are too diverse to allow for any generalizations, and in the most important areas of concern the researchers find no substantial difference from public schools. Of course, this study is by no means definitive, and, as the authors admit, is often hampered by lack of sufficient data. This very inconclusiveness limits the usefulness of this study, but it should be on the reading list for those with a strong interest in the subject. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Research, faculty, and professional collections. M. Engel Westfield State College

Table of Contents

Ron Zimmer and Derrick Chau and Brian GillDerrick Chau and Dan McCaffrey and Ron Zimmer and Glenn Daley and Brian GillRichard Buddin and Ron ZimmerDerrick Chau and Glenn Daley and Brian GillCathy KropLaura HamiltonCassandra GuarinoCassandra Guarino and Derrick ChauRon Zimmer and Cassandra Guarino
Prefacep. iii
Figuresp. xi
Tablesp. xv
Summaryp. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxix
Acronymsp. xxxi
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Background: Charter Schools Nationally and in Californiap. 1
What We Know from Prior Researchp. 5
Focus of This Researchp. 6
Data Sourcesp. 8
Primary Datap. 8
Secondary Datap. 10
How We Categorized Charter Schoolsp. 11
Conversion and Start-Up Charter Schoolsp. 12
Classroom-Based and Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schoolsp. 13
School Sizep. 14
Independent and Dependent Charter Schoolsp. 15
Limitations of the Studyp. 16
Data Limitationsp. 16
Budgetary and Time Constraintsp. 17
How the Report Is Organizedp. 17
Chapter 2 Students Served by Charter Schoolsp. 19
Introductionp. 19
Access to Charter Schoolsp. 21
Student Admissions Processesp. 22
Focus of School Servicesp. 24
Characteristics of Students in Charter Schoolsp. 25
School-by-School Analysisp. 30
Summaryp. 36
Chapter 3 Academic Outcomesp. 37
Introductionp. 37
School-Level Performancep. 39
Statewide Nonlongitudinally Linked Student-Level Datap. 44
Longitudinally Linked Student-Level Datap. 53
Competitive Effect of Charter Schoolsp. 57
Summaryp. 60
School-Level Analysis of API Scoresp. 60
Statewide Nonlongitudinal Student Datap. 60
Longitudinally Linked Student Datap. 61
Competitive Effects of Charter Schoolsp. 62
Chapter 4 Authorization, Governance, and Oversight of Charter Schoolsp. 63
Introductionp. 63
Authorization of Charter Schoolsp. 64
Description of Chartering Authoritiesp. 64
Development and Evaluation of Charter Petitionsp. 66
The Outcomes of Charter Petitionsp. 68
Closed or Revoked Charter Schoolsp. 70
Denied Charter Petitionsp. 70
Governance of Charter Schoolsp. 71
Dependent and Independent Charter Schoolsp. 72
Legal Liability in Charter Schoolsp. 73
Charter School Autonomyp. 74
Oversight of Charter Schoolsp. 77
Characteristics of Chartering Authority Oversight of Charter Schoolsp. 78
Chartering Authority Actions Toward Charter Schoolsp. 79
Services Provided by Chartering Authoritiesp. 82
Summaryp. 82
Authorizationp. 82
Governancep. 83
Oversightp. 84
Servicesp. 84
Chapter 5 Charter School Finances and Facilitiesp. 85
Introductionp. 85
Charter School Fundingp. 85
Meeting Legislative Requirementsp. 88
Participation in Categorical Aid Programsp. 91
Private Donations to Charter Schoolsp. 100
Charter School Expendituresp. 103
Facilitiesp. 106
Other Fiscal Challengesp. 112
Summaryp. 113
Chapter 6 Academic Environments of Charter and Conventional Public Schoolsp. 115
Introductionp. 115
Professional Developmentp. 117
Chartering Authorities' Involvement in Professional Developmentp. 117
Teacher Participation in Professional Developmentp. 118
Curriculum and Instructionp. 122
Programs and Scheduling Modificationsp. 122
Courses and Academic Program Requirementsp. 125
Computersp. 128
Student Testingp. 129
Parent Involvementp. 133
Student Disciplinep. 137
Summaryp. 140
Chapter 7 Staffing in Charter and Conventional Public Schoolsp. 143
Introductionp. 143
The Characteristics of Teachersp. 144
Teaching Credentialsp. 144
Teaching Experiencep. 147
The Characteristics of Principalsp. 148
Credentials and Qualifications of Principalsp. 149
Administrative and Teaching Experiencep. 150
Working Conditions and Compensation of Teachersp. 152
Working Conditions and Compensation of Principalsp. 153
The Composition of the Instructional Staffp. 154
Principals' Use and Perceptions of Controlp. 154
Summaryp. 159
Chapter 8 Special Education in Charter and Conventional Public Schoolsp. 161
Introductionp. 161
Identification of Special Education Studentsp. 162
Special Education Service Deliveryp. 164
The Use of Special Education Aidesp. 167
Inclusion of Special Education Students in Assessmentsp. 168
Funding and Provision of Special Education Resourcesp. 169
Summaryp. 172
Chapter 9 Conclusions and Implicationsp. 175
Introductionp. 175
Findingsp. 175
Student Achievementp. 175
Accessibilityp. 176
Authorization, Governance, and Oversightp. 177
Operationp. 178
Challengesp. 180
Recommendationsp. 181
A. Research Methodsp. 185
B. Charter and Conventional Public School Comparison Methodsp. 199
C. Academic Outcomesp. 201
D. Surveys Administered for the Studyp. 219
Bibliographyp. 273