"Cookson and Berger provide a thoughtful summary and insightful critique of the charter school movement. Expect Miracles explodes the myth that the charter schools operating in an educational 'marketplace' will recast public education to better serve America's children and promote democratic civic values. Anyone interested in the future of U.S. school reform should read this book." —Alex Molnar, professor and director, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University, and author of Giving Kids the Business "By far the best book yet to appear on the charter school movement Written with scholarship, insight, clarity, compassion, and fire." —Bruce J. Biddle, professor emeritus of the University of Missouri, and co-author of The Manufactured Crisis "Beautifully written analysis of the charter school movement in terms of its past and present political and educational dynamics as well as where it might go." —Henry M. Levin, director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University Charter schools are the most significant educational experiment in the last two decades. In Expect Miracles, Peter W. Cookson, Jr. and Kristina Berger focus on the current trend toward deregulation in public education. The issue of deregulation is of critical importance because the spirit of entrepreneurship that is behind deregulation is seldom examined from a sociological perspective. Using the latest research as the basis for discussion, this book provides a fresh look at the growing and politically volatile charter school movement. The authors present the most balanced analysis to date of the movement that is changing the landscape of American education.
Prologue: Faith Versus Reason in Educational Reform -- The Landscape of Charter Schools -- The Educational and Social Context of the Charter School Movement -- How Charter Schools Work -- Turning Dreams into Reality: Building a Charter School -- The Many Faces of Charter Schools: Six States, Six Scenarios -- Projections Versus Actuals: Have Charter Schools Fulfilled the Promise? -- Conclusion -- The Social and Political Geology of Charter Schools -- POSTSCRIPT: The Goodness of America— An Education for Democracy -- Appendix