Presently, there are approximately 1 million students nationwide enrolled in Charter schools and over 3,400 contracts between charter schools and their government authorizers..." resulting in Charter schools being the "most common example of school choice." (Snell, 2005) Charter schools in both the profit and nonprofit sector charter schools are growing and stated specifically is: "In 2005 there were at least 500 public schools being operated by 51 for-profit management companies in 28 states. There has also been substantially more specialization and branding of nonprofit charter schools. There are well-known national nonprofit brands, such as KIPP Academies, and there are scores of for-profit and nonprofit charters that operate a handful of schools each focusing on the Montessori method, or math and science, or the performing arts." (Snell, 2005) Snell also relates that the nonprofit schools have succeeded in branding as some of the nonprofit charter schools are well-known. Snell states that in order that schools d experience "substantial growth, school choice programs need students with substantial purchasing power, and they need to be open to a larger student population." (Snell, 2005) Stated as the greatest obstacle to more choices in schools is "the implicit acceptance of our archaic system of residential school assignment. " (2005)
Specifically noted by Snell is the fact that parents: "...are used to selecting a school based on their real estate choices. In cities like Seattle and San Francisco, which have designed enrollment systems to allow any child to choose any public school, the most resistance has come from parents who do not want other children pushing their own child out of the preferred neighborhood school. Everything from the real estate industry to school rankings based on test scores is set up to reinforce the idea of school assignment by address. Imagine if our higher education system worked that way. Changing the cultural and institutional structures that reinforce school assignment is one crucial element for expanding the number of choices available to students and their families." (2005) it is related that a required, yet "insufficient condition for the creation of an education marketplace" is the condition of 'choice'. In fact, stated is that historically and internationally, "effective education markets rely on the interaction of parental choice, direct parental payment, minimal regulation, vigorous competition, and the profit motive." (Snell, 2005)
The work of Ratteray (1984) states that education, and particularly of the minority and poor "has been shaped in recent decades by forces of Romantic optimism. But some minorities have steadfastly refused to accept this monolithic vision of what should be theirs. Faced with government-sponsored programs, they have developed other options in education. Their laudable efforts now deserve broader support." Ratteray (1984) states several 'idealistic assumptions' including the fact that "because mass education had worked rather well after World War II, it would continue to work..." And it was expected that the derivation of education for disenfranchised ethnic groups in the United States would be the same level of benefits realized by those in the same position in the past. Another assumption made for several generations was that "c compensatory education programs would prepare minority cultural groups for assimilation. They were to be "melted" by public schools into a culturally neutral mass that some perceived as the only true path to becoming a "a good American." (Ratteray, 1984) Another assumption related by Ratteray (1984) is that once these children were introduced to the public education system, they would be able to make significant academic and social advances, year after year." (Rattery, 1984) Finally, the last assumption related by Ratteray is the assumption that "...the problems with minorities would be solved if large quantities of educational resources were allocated, then marshaled under the systemic umbrellas of public schools that took advantage of economies of scale. Billions of dollars were spent on these programs." (Ratteray, 1984) the work of Metcalf and Tait entitled: "Free Market Policies and Public Education: What is the Cost of Choice? Relates the 'Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Grant Program' implemented in Cleveland Ohio in 1996. Findings of the study include findings that students improved significantly from the testing conducted in the fall and then conducted again in the Spring. Specifically stated were the following findings of test scoring increase when comparing fall testing to spring testing.
1) a significant increase of 5.6 points in reading (28.4 to 34.0);
2) a nonsignificant decrease of 4.5 points in language (41.2 to 36.7), resulting from a 19-point decline for first-grade students;
3) a significant increase of 11.6 points in mathematics total (29.2 to 40.8); and 4) a significant increase of 12.8 points in mathematical concepts (28.6 to 41.4).
It is clear that choices have bee demonstrated to hold great importance especially when related to education. The traditional public schools have had both times of great success and of great failure. The most recently legislation that impacted the educational institution and shook the very foundations of the teaching practice, is the No Child Left Behind Act, which has served to assist student in small ways but overall has failed today's students; and rendered today's teachers impotent to teach and instead requiring them to read scripted lessons and requiring as well that they 'teach to the test' so as to avoid being adjudged inept as a teacher because ones' students cannot pass the standardized testing mandated by Congress as a requirement to graduate from school. That which appears to be of primary importance in the success of the school however, is the involvement and interaction of parents and community members. It has been noted in this study that many of the schools. It is additionally clear that when students feel they are well-supported and cared for the student do tend to score higher than when coming from a home with only a single parent or a home with parents who are not engaged in the child's education and educational needs.
Coulson, Andres J. (2004) Academic Performance of Market vs. Monopoly Schooling (2004) Cato Institute Market Research: A Quick Guide to Scholarly Literature on School Choice. Online available at;
Harrington-Lueker, Donna (1997) a School District's Entrepreneurism Raises Questions About Fairness, Funding, and the Best Place for Learning the School Administrator 1997 February. American Association of School Administrators. Online available at: A School District's Entrepreneurism Raises Questions About Fairness, Funding, and the Best Place for Learning
Lendman, Stephen (2008) Destroying Public Education in America. 7 April 2008. Global Researcher.ca Centre for Research on Globalization. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8579
Let a Thousand Choices Bloom (2005) Lisa Snell: Director of the Education and Child Welfare…