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Superintendents' Perceptions of Charter Schools in the Context of a Competitive Educational Marketplace: Charter Schools, their Impact on Traditional Public Districts and the Role of District Leadership

Thesis advisor: Joseph O'Keefe / This study applied the economic theory of marketplace competition as a framework to explore how district superintendents perceive the existence of charter schools by examining their perceptions about whether or not charter schools are stimulating competition for consumers in public school districts. As its underlying foundation, the study used the driving forces of competition and innovation as expressed in the legislative intent of the 1993 Massachusetts law that designed created charter schools to provide an alternative to district schools by promoting innovation. This mixed methods sequential explanatory designed study has yielded findings about superintendents' perceptions of charter schools within the context of a competitive educational marketplace. Not only do superintendents sense urgency to act within a competitive charter school market, but other schooling options for students similarly add competitive pressure. Superintendents perceive that the impact on their district budget is constraining, and that the funding formula does not take into consideration school systems' economies of scale. Most superintendents perceive the choice market as limited or a "quasi-market" unlike in a pure market-based economy where cost is a driving factor. This study found that there is considerable sentiment among superintendents that charter schools separate communities and decrease democratic principles of education by separating society into smaller homogeneous groups, thereby endangering the growth of a multicultural society. And lastly, all superintendents who were interviewed expressed concern that the driving force of this movement - the charter school legislation - has not been implemented as intended. / Thesis (EdD) — Boston College, 2014. / Submitted to: Boston College. Lynch School of Education. / Discipline: Educational Leadership and Higher Education.
Date January 2014
CreatorsRicciardelli, Bernadette Anne, Cummins, Cathy, Steedman, Peter
PublisherBoston College
Source SetsBoston College
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, thesis
Formatelectronic, application/pdf
RightsCopyright is held by the author, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.

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