MINDZAK: Charter schools: What you need to know about their anticipated growth in Alberta

Michael Mindzak, Assistant Professor of Education at Brock University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about new legislation that relates to charter schools and their establishment in Alberta.

He writes:

“In Alberta, the once-radical idea of charter schools, placed largely on the back burner for the past two decades, has been brought back to the fore under Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP). The party’s Choice in Education Actwill come into force Sept. 1, after the government passed it June 24. 

Under the new act, individuals will be able to bypass the local school board and apply directly to the provincial government to seek to establish a charter school. This follows a move last fall by the newly elected UCP to remove the cap (previously 15) on the number of charter schools in the province. In Alberta, there are now 13 charter school authorities operating more than 20 schools or campuses — for instance, the province lists seven Calgary schools run by the Foundations for the Future Charter Academy. 

These recent developments provide the opportunity to better understand what charter schools are, how they’ve been taken up by advocates of educational reform and how their re-emergence and promotion under the UCP reflects the influence of neoconservative and neoliberal ideologies in education.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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