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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Urban Economics, Volume 62, Issue 1, July 2007, Pages 27–54
Public charter schools are one of the fastest growing education reforms in the US, currently serving more than a million students. Though the movement for greater school choice is widespread, its implementation has been uneven. State laws differ greatly in the degree of latitude granted charter schools, and—holding constant state support—states and localities vary widely in the availability of and enrollment in these schools. In this paper, we use a panel of demographic, financial, and school performance data to examine the support for charters at the state and local levels. Results suggest that growing population heterogeneity and income inequality—in addition to persistently low student outcomes—are associated with greater support for charter schools. Teachers unions have been particularly effective in slowing or preventing liberal state charter legislation; however, conditional on law passage and strength, local participation in charter schools rises with the share of unionized teachers.
Among education reforms currently underway in the United States, “market-based” reforms encouraging competition outside of traditional public schools are some of the most contentious. Reflecting both the short-run demands of families for immediate alternatives and the long-run hopes among a number of policymakers that the injection of competitive forces into public education will yield sustained improvement in student outcomes, market-based reforms have been closely watched and hotly contested. Market-oriented reforms—in particular, public charter schools—are also among the fastest growing education reforms at the state and local levels. Though state accountability measures involving sanctions or rewards tied to student performance emerged well before charter laws, the growth in charter school authorizations has been much more rapid.1 Since the first law authorizing charter schools was passed in Minnesota in 1991, 39 other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have all adopted legislation supporting public charters. As of 2003–2004, more than 3000 charter schools were in operation, serving over 825,000 students.2 While the movement for greater school choice has been widespread, its implementation has been uneven. In the case of charter schools, state governments must first provide the legal foundation upon which charter schools can form and operate. The implementation of these laws, in turn, takes place at the local level, through parental demand, willing and able suppliers of charter schools and sufficient cooperation on the part of state and local officials who authorize proposed schools. State laws differ greatly in the degree of latitude granted charter schools, and—holding constant the level of state support—states and localities vary widely in the level of actual participation in these schools.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our analysis at the state level asks three primary questions: (1) what state characteristics are associated with the adoption of charter laws and the timing of charter law adoption (i.e. do early adopters differ systematically from late or non-adopters)? (2) What characteristics are associated with the strength of charter laws (as measured using the CER index for 2003–2004)? (3) What characteristics are associated with the overall fraction of students in a state who choose to enroll in charter schools? Table 6 presents results from the analysis of these questions. Table 6 includes four pairs of regression results. Each pair represents one estimated model, with separate results for each of our two measures of achievement discussed in section four (SAT scores and dropout rates). The first two columns are the results of a linear probability model for the likelihood of a state passing a law authorizing charter schools by 1999.27 For those 40 states that passed a charter law by the 2003–2004 school year,28 columns 3 and 4 present results from an OLS regression for the year the law was passed (the dependent variable here ranges from 1991 (Minnesota) to 2003 (Maryland)). Columns 5 and 6 are the results of a Tobit regression where the dependent variable is the CER index of law strength (non-adopters have a law strength equal to zero). Finally, the last two columns are the results of a Tobit model for the fraction of public school students in the state enrolled in charter schools (again, the Tobit specification accounts for states truncated at zero). Table 6 suggests that demographics, teachers’ union participation, and student performance are all important determinants of state charter legislation and participation. Controlling for student performance, states with greater Hispanic populations tended to pass laws supporting charter schools earlier and were likely to pass more permissive legislation. These states also saw a greater proportion of students enrolled in charter schools in 2003–2004, though the estimates of this effect are less precise. Interestingly, the fraction of a state population that is black has no statistically significant relationship with the passage, timing, or strength of charter laws, but does have a strong relationship with participation: a one standard deviation increase in the fraction