The Emancipatory Promise of Charter Schools

Toward a Progressive Politics of School Choice

Edited by Eric Rofes & Lisa M. Stulberg
Foreword by Herbert Gintis

Subjects: Sociology, Public Policy, Education
Paperback : 9780791462362, 328 pages, October 2004
Hardcover : 9780791462355, 328 pages, October 2004

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Table of contents

Herbert Gintis


Eric Rofes and Lisa M. Stulberg

1. What History Offers Progressive Choice Scholarship
Lisa M. Stulberg

PART I: Progressive Charter Schooling in Practice

2. Fulfilling the Hope of Brown v. Board of Education through Charter Schools
John B. King Jr.

3. Back to the Future: Ethnocentric Charter Schools in Hawai'i
Nina K. Buchanan and Robert A. Fox

4. Native American Charter Schools: Culture, Language, and Self-Determination
Mary Jiron Belgarde

5. Independent Black Schools and the Charter Movement
Patty Yancey

6. Voices of Progressive Charter School Educators
Melissa Steel King

PART II: Frameworks for Progressive School Choice Analysis

7. The Charter School Movement: Complementing or Competing with Public Education?
Alex Medler

8. School Choice through a Foucauldian Lens: Disrupting the Left's Oppositional Stance
Stacy Smith

9. Charter Schools as the Counterpublics of Disenfranchised Communities: Pedagogy of Resistance or False Consciousness?
Eric Rofes

Conclusion: Toward a Progressive Politics of School Choice
Eric Rofes and Lisa M. Stulberg



Offers a broad, multidisciplinary, and progressive look at school choice.


This book opens up a critical conversation among progressive educators of various generations, races, perspectives, and social locations concerning one specific school reform initiative—charter schools. Eric Rofes and Lisa M. Stulberg bring together scholars who both study and actively participate in school choice reform and charge them to be "bold in their questioning and assertive in their own ambivalence" about this complex, controversial public issue and to include issues that are underexamined in the school literature, such as the impact of school choice on race and class politics and inequalities. The editors argue that charter schools are playing a powerful role in reviving participation in public education, expanding opportunities for progressive methods in public school classrooms, and generating new energy for community-based, community-controlled school initiatives. The result is a groundbreaking volume that pushes boundaries, questions assumptions, and rocks foundations of progressive thought.

Eric Rofes is Associate Professor of Education at Humboldt State University. Lisa M. Stulberg is Assistant Professor of Educational Sociology at New York University.