- When urban school districts innovate: The politics of turning around low performing school organizations through charter schools
Authors: Francis X. Shen, Kenneth K. Wong
This paper argues that charter-based turnaround reform cannot escape politics. Brief case studies of Renaissance 2010 in Chicago and Green Dot Public Schools in Los Angeles show that political actors and interests at the local, lateral level are very active in both cases. Empirical analysis of state legislator agenda setting and voting behavior in 2007 confirms that a vertical state-level political influence exists as well. Partisanship, teachers’ union interests, and race are all determinants of legislative behavior on charter schools. Taken together, these two strands of analysis show that charter-based turnaround reform is shaped by multiple, interrelated layers of political activity.