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Charter School Closures in Florida, 2006-2016: A Population Ecology Perspective

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Date Issued:
2017
Summary:
As part of the education reforms of the 1990s, charter schools were proposed as a private alternative to public education, offering parents and their children greater choices. Publicly financed but privately operated, charter schools have now grown in numbers and influence. While there are many studies of student outcomes in charter schools demonstrating mixed results, one negative outcome of charter schools has been less examined. Since inception, 23% of charter schools nationally have closed and these closures are disruptive to parents, children, and their school districts. This paper addresses charter school closures from an organizational perspective. Applying theory from population ecology and resource dependency theory, the population of nonprofit charter schools is examined. What are the primary determinants of charter school success and failure? Florida, with the third highest number of charter schools nationally and, at the same time, the highest number of charter school closures in the United States, is a paradox. This study identifies the significant variables that are related to school survival and failure in the state of Florida over the years 2015-16 through 2015-16. Variables tested in this study, using Survival Analysis (SA), include age, management structure, size, school performance, grants, and density. All variables except density at founding were significant in explaining the unique variance in survival rates among charters. Charter schools sub-contracted by for-profit educational management organizations (EMOs) were larger, achieved higher grades, secured more grants and achieved higher survival rates than their counterpart nonprofit, independent, and charter management organization (CMO) led schools. These results contribute to our understanding of charter school survival and failure, thereby informing public policy options to strengthen the charter school population and the nation’s public education system overall.
Title: Charter School Closures in Florida, 2006-2016: A Population Ecology Perspective.
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Name(s): Jameson, Jorene, author
Nyhan, Ronald C., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
College for Design and Social Inquiry
School of Public Administration
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2017
Date Issued: 2017
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 153 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: As part of the education reforms of the 1990s, charter schools were proposed as a private alternative to public education, offering parents and their children greater choices. Publicly financed but privately operated, charter schools have now grown in numbers and influence. While there are many studies of student outcomes in charter schools demonstrating mixed results, one negative outcome of charter schools has been less examined. Since inception, 23% of charter schools nationally have closed and these closures are disruptive to parents, children, and their school districts. This paper addresses charter school closures from an organizational perspective. Applying theory from population ecology and resource dependency theory, the population of nonprofit charter schools is examined. What are the primary determinants of charter school success and failure? Florida, with the third highest number of charter schools nationally and, at the same time, the highest number of charter school closures in the United States, is a paradox. This study identifies the significant variables that are related to school survival and failure in the state of Florida over the years 2015-16 through 2015-16. Variables tested in this study, using Survival Analysis (SA), include age, management structure, size, school performance, grants, and density. All variables except density at founding were significant in explaining the unique variance in survival rates among charters. Charter schools sub-contracted by for-profit educational management organizations (EMOs) were larger, achieved higher grades, secured more grants and achieved higher survival rates than their counterpart nonprofit, independent, and charter management organization (CMO) led schools. These results contribute to our understanding of charter school survival and failure, thereby informing public policy options to strengthen the charter school population and the nation’s public education system overall.
Identifier: FA00004972 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2017.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Dissertations, Academic -- Florida Atlantic University
Charter schools--Florida.
Population ecology.
Public policy.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004982
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004972
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.