Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership


Charter schools are a growing force in American education. Parents are demanding a choice in their child's public education. Are charter schools better than traditional public schools? Have charter schools kept their promise?

In the study regular public schools and charter schools were compared along five dimensions: (a) opportunity for learning and access to quality education, (b) innovative teaching methods and participative management, (c) teacher job satisfaction, (d) parent involvement, and (e) school accountability. Existing data from the 1999/2000 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) were analyzed with primarily chi-square tests and one t-test. These analyses provided results in relation to the five research questions.

There were several findings. First, public schools have more programming for student learning. Second, charter schools are more innovative in teaching methodologies than their public school counterparts. Third, teachers in both charter schools and public schools are generally satisfied with their profession of education; no clear difference is determined. Fourth, parents are more involved in their child's school at the charter school than the public school. Fifth, both charter and public schools demonstrate accountability for their responsibilities of managing public education.

The results of this study are mixed in terms of realizing the promises of charter schools. Given the limitations of the study, continued evaluation needs to be done.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access