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“Charter Schools: Hope or Hype?” by Jack Buckley

In their book Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider attempt to assess the effectiveness of charter schools. The authors try to determine whether they are a real breakthrough in American education or just the result of a well-staged advertising campaign. The major peculiarity of these institutions is that they are accountable for academic progress of their students and this information is disclosed to parents who have an opportunity to choose among different options. In chapter 9, the authors strive to measure both student and parental satisfaction with the performance of these schools. First, it should be noted that they regard this issue from a market standpoint, in other words, the establishment acts as a service provider or enterprise, whereas parents and students are customers (Buckley & Schneider, 170). Additionally, Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider compare the level of parental contentment with charter and public schools. To some extent, this approach is not quite justifiable, because people are not always able to appreciate the goals and complexity of educators work. Moreover, they can often be dissatisfied with the school because they do not know anything about its functioning and structure. This is one of the limitations of this study.

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According to the research findings, at the very beginning, charter-school parents feel rather pleased with the institution, its facilities, teaching faculty and so forth. The overwhelming majority of them believe that their childs academic performance is rather high (p 202). Nonetheless, this impression usually weakens with time passing, approximately after two or three years (p 269). Most importantly, the responses of students in public and charter schools are practically the same as well as the level of satisfaction. Again, the question arises whether children or teenagers are able to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of an educational organization. The scholars say that students do it according to such parameters as discipline, teacher-parent relations, school size, their grade level, the variety of curriculum etc (Buckley & Schneider, 200). Undoubtedly, their experience must not be disregarded but we cannot say that children are the ultimate judges of the school performance. Overall, Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider are rather reluctant to pass their own judgment about this new type of educational establishment. They believe that the outcome of this reform will manifest themselves only in the future. Yet, they emphasize the idea that the relative popularity of charter schools can be explained by their novelty and lack of parental awareness.

As a matter of fact, it is rather difficult to adopt a marketing approach toward the sphere of education. The thing is that any company or service provider follows the principle that the client is always right, and it is necessary to do everything possible to please him or her. This idea is hardly applicable to schools because teachers are usually more knowledgeable about childrens current and future needs. Moreover, it is practically impossible to find a student (especially a child or adolescent) who would be absolutely content with his or her school even if it is a perfect one. At this age, people pass through the period of adaptation when they need to act independently without their parents support and occasionally they can feel uncomfortably. The authors could receive such responses from students belonging to different schools: either public or private.

On the whole, this book provides deep insights into the nature of charter schools and their prospects in years to come. Furthermore, this source will help many parents make an unbiased and informed decision while they try to select a school for their children.

Works Cited

Buckley J. Schneider M. “Charter schools: hope or hype?”. Princeton University Press, 2007.

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StudyCorgi. "“Charter Schools: Hope or Hype?” by Jack Buckley." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "“Charter Schools: Hope or Hype?” by Jack Buckley." October 29, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '“Charter Schools: Hope or Hype?” by Jack Buckley'. 29 October.

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