Charter Schools at the Crossroads

Charter Schools at the Crossroads Predicaments, Paradoxes, Possibilities

Chester E. Finn, Jr., Bruno V. Manno, and Brandon L. Wright
cloth, 280 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-978-5
Price: $62.00

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paper, 280 Pages
Pub. Date: October 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-977-8
Price: $31.00

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Charter Schools at the Crossroads offers a frank and nuanced analysis of the successes and shortcomings of the charter movement, and outlines possible directions for the future. Few observers present at the creation of the first charter schools a quarter-century ago could have predicted how rapidly this movement would spread or how thoroughly it would come to dominate the education reform agenda. And few recent debates in education have been as highly charged as those over charter schools’ roles, responsibilities, and results.


Finn, Manno, and Wright balance objectivity and a critical eye with the context and nuance only insiders can bring. The result is a terrific analysis of one of the most dynamic school reforms in American history and important ideas on where chartering may go next. — Andrew Rotherham, cofounder and partner, Bellwether Education Partners

Readers will find here perhaps unexpected challenges to the orthodoxy of both proponents and opponents of this institutional innovation, now a second sector of public education. Chartering, the authors write, is here to stay, and needs to be both improved and extended. How far to try to impose order on this dynamic and disorderly sector, they leave you to decide. — Ted Kolderie, cofounder and senior fellow, Education | Evolving

With the charter movement in its adolescence, Finn, Manno, and Wright give us a wise, balanced assessment of its strengths and accomplishments to date, and the challenges it must overcome as it moves into young adulthood. Although clearly charter proponents, the authors are highly credible tour guides as they lead us through the complex tangle of policy, regulatory, governance, and funding issues that charter schools must negotiate. — Robert Schwartz, senior research fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Charter Schools at the Crossroads constitutes a perfect anchor text for a full overview of this major sector of American schooling.  — David Steiner, Education Next

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About the Authors

Chester E. Finn, Jr. is a distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Bruno V. Manno is a senior advisor for K–12 education at the Walton Family Foundation. Brandon L. Wright is the editorial director of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Table of Contents


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