Thursday, July 05, 2007

Beyond the Battle Lines: Lessons From New York's Charter Caps Fight

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is out with a new report, "Beyond
the Battle Lines: Lessons From New York's Charter Caps Fight". A summary is
below and the full report is at:

Beyond the Battle Lines: Lessons From New York's Charter Caps Fight explores
the politics of an effort, ultimately successful, to raise the cap and
expand the number of charter schools in New York State. Author Lisa M.
Stulberg explores the pros and cons of charter caps and how they play out in
local communities. The report examines lessons from New York's experience,
and provides policy considerations relevant to the growing number of states
in which charter schools are reaching their legislated limit.

The paper tracks the politics of New York's charter schools from 1998
through the spring of 2007. New York charter school and charter caps
politics have been highly partisan and, at times, quite brutal. But as this
report makes clear, nuanced discussions and sophisticated policies are what
will ultimately benefit both districts and charter schools nationwide. The
observations and proposals in Beyond the Battle Lines will help policymakers
understand the political dynamics and arguments in play in many states, and
the specific recommendations will help to create more productive charter cap

We hope you find the report interesting and invite you to share it with
others. The report is available to download at
<> A database of
national charter school statistics, summaries of recent charter school
research, and other reports from NCSRP are also available.

Author Lisa M. Stulberg is an assistant professor of educational sociology
at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New
York University.

Here's Joe Williams's blog post on it on Democrats for Education Reform's
web site (

New Democrats In New York State On Education

<> As described
by our Republican friend up north in Albany, Tom Carroll, on the issue of
public charter schools:

"The under 50 crowd in the Democratic party is pro-charter. The old guard is
anti-charter. The Young Turks are now in power. Eventually, the old guard
will fade away."

Perhaps I'll start changing the "DFER Qoute of the Week" feature on the
front page of this site to a daily feature, as this would make a good one.
Also, the National Education Association is doing its annual national
hand-wringing session next week, meaning all of the Democrats running for
president will be on hand to pander. Should be lots of good quotes there.

Anyway, this Tom Carroll quote came from a new report
<> on New York's recent battle
to lift the cap on charter schools that was put out by Paul Hill's prolific
outfit, the Center On Reinventing Public Education, at the University of

There are some good ideas in the report, by Lisa Stulberg, including
requiring that in order for school districts to get extra money each time
they lose students to better peforming charter schools (something called
'transition aid' or "rewarding failure',) districts must show on paper that
they are actually doing something to make themselves less crappy.

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