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March 07 , 2010

The Great School Debate

Choice, Vouchers, and Charters


This book examines reform in American education over the past fifty years and against this backdrop presents a compelling analysis of why contemporary voucher plans and charter schools have yet to fulfill the expectations of their advocates. It is the only book to date to attempt a comprehensive synthesis and analysis of the emerging research base on vouchers and charter schools. Suitable for courses in school policy, school reform, school leadership, or educational issues, it will also be of interest to anyone (parents, teachers, policymakers) directly involved with the charter school movement.

Key features of this timely new book include the following:
* A Historical Perspective – The early chapters look at American educational reform over the past fifty years and analyze why these efforts have fallen short of their goals.
* Student Achievement – Chapter 3 provides an insightful assessment of American students' school achievement from 1970 to the present and, in the process, counters the widely held myth that, overall, student achievement has deteriorated.
* Voucher Plans and Charter Schools – Chapter 4 looks specifically at choice and vouchers in American education while chapters 5-7 provide a comprehensive and balanced examination of the charter school movement.
* Policy Recommendations – The book concludes with explicit policy suggestions that attempt to balance the educational needs of children and youth against the rights of schools to experiment. Suggestions for developing broader coalitions to support public education, particularly in the inner cities, are also offered.
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