Understanding the charter school concept in legislation: The cases of Arizona, Michigan and Georgia

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This article explores the ways in which policy-makers in Arizona, Michigan and Georgia understood the charter concept when adopting charter legislation. Drawing on literature on policy formation, the paper traces both the creation of the charter law in each state, and the underlying rationales that led policy-makers to support the legislation. The author compares the rationales found in each state based on the goals of the legislation and the means to reaching those goals (including various interpretations of the concepts of autonomy and accountability). This analysis helps to explain why the idea of charter schools has received support from individuals and organizations that span the ideological spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-554
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2005


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