Molly O'Brien


This paper will explore the prospects for charter school reform to provide curricular innovation and will point out several provisions in the legal organization of charter schools that will limit the possibilities for major innovation or radical reform of the official curriculum. This paper will also take stock of the autocratic and bureaucratic nature of the current public school model and weigh the possibility for charter schools to transform schools into places that embody democratic and community values. Charter schooling presents an exciting opportunity for school reform that rejects the factory model of public schooling and establishes both an official and hidden curriculum that fosters democratic participation. It also raises the ominous specter of a new type of public school that is more ideologically isolated and less democratic than the traditional public schools.

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