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Under the Microscope: Priscilla Wohlstetter

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Other studies have reported innovations in charter school classrooms, but haven't provided much detail, says Priscilla Wohlstetter, an expert on site-based school management.

She wants to learn more about how charter schools operate--how the managers and teachers are going about improving student performance.

Ms. Wohlstetter, a University of Southern California education professor and a member of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, began a three-year study of charter schools this fall.

Her previous work has shown that in successful schools with site-based management, strong teacher leaders have emerged. Principals in those schools have assumed a more entrepreneurial role.

Ms. Wohlstetter said she expects to see similar dynamics in charter schools.

Her study, supported by a grant from the Danforth Foundation in St. Louis, will include interviews with focus groups in Boston, Los Angeles, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

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