Charter school contract renewal: a process analysis


Charter schools, Charter schools -- United States -- Evaluation


As an alternative model of public education, charter schools were characterized as innovative, non-sectarian schools with fewer bureaucratic regulations than traditional schools, more freedom to implement educational reform, and accountable for results. The purpose of this policy research was to investigate charter school granting criteria, monitoring procedures, and renewal processes in states with operational charter schools to determine the extent to which renewal relates to established criteria. A secondary purpose was to synthesize and assimilate renewal research to assist in the development of an evaluative schema applicable to Florida's charter schools. This study investigated charter school renewal and non-renewal criteria found in legislation from 33 states with operational charter schools in the fall of 2000. Current practices used by sponsors in states without specific criteria in legislation and current practices used by sponsoring school districts in Florida were investigated. Legislation from 33 states was analyzed with attention to renewal and non-renewal criteria, the agency responsible for renewal, and the duration of charter and renewal terms. Personal communication with charter contacts verified renewal information. Content analysis was used to review non-renewal criteria in legislation. A literature review of charter school legislation, program evaluation, litigation related to charter schools, and an historical overview of charter schools was included. Data revealed no consistent criteria for charter renewal in practice throughout the nation. The majority of states identified the sponsoring agency as the renewal authority. Renewal criteria were directed toward a process or procedure rather than measurable standards. Renewal decisions were closely linked to the initial terms and conditions of the charter. Non-renewal criteria focused on standards requiring documentation or measurement. Commonalties were found between non-renewal criteria and criteria for revocation. Sponsors used on-going monitoring of the school's performance and operations to support renewal decisions. An evaluative schema could be developed for Florida districts to support statutory requirements for renewal if warranted. Recommendations for further study included: examination of experiences from states with a renewal protocol, analysis of reasons why schools were non-renewed, follow-up studies to review changes in states' guidelines, sponsor procedures, and program reviews in Florida districts.


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Graduation Date



Bozeman, William C.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology and Leadership





Length of Campus-only Access


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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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