Arguing that charter schools should not be thought of as monolithic, a report presents a “typology” of the independently run public schools that divides them into five basic categories: traditional, progressive, vocational, general, and alternative delivery.
“Playing to Type? Mapping the Charter School Landscape” is available from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.
Dick M. Carpenter II, an assistant professor of educational administration at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, surveyed more than 1,100 charter schools in operation nationwide in the 2001-02 school year for the study, which was commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a pro-charter school organization based in Washington.
Schools classified as general, defined as schools that “are essentially indistinguishable from conventional neighborhood public schools,” made up the single largest share, with 29.5 percent, according to the report. That was closely followed, at 29 percent, by “schools that subscribe to educational philosophies and/or practices aligned with ‘progressivism,’ which places a premium on individual development.”
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2005 edition of Education Week