A School Choice Reading List

January 22 – 28, 2017 is National School Choice Week, the goal of which is to, “[Shine] a spotlight on effective education options for every child.” That timing, combined with my post last Sunday on how not to attack charter schools and with the controversial nomination of charter school evangelist Betsy DeVos to lead the Department of Education in the news motivated me to read deeper about school choice and share the resource list I compiled.

Charter Schools in Perspective, is a comprehensive primer on the subject. The report was produced by the nonpartisan Spenser Foundation and Public Agenda groups as “an effort to enlighten and improve the conversation about charter schools in the United States,”

The right-leaning EducationNext folks cited 15 Good Reads for National School Choice Week. Titles include, School Disruption on the Small Scale, The Impact of School Vouchers on College Enrollment, and More Middle Class Families Choose Charters. There are also articles about the impact of charters on test scores as well as profiles of charters in New Orleans and the Bronx.

A search of the left-leaning Center for American Progress for “School Choice” returns links to “Yes” for Public School Choice, “No” to Charters; Better Evidence, Better Choices, Better Schools; and The New World of School Accountability.

A search specifically for “Charter School” at the CAP  returns three pages of articles with titles like, Teacher Compensation in Charter and Private Schools, Next Generation Charter Schools, and Charter School Leaders Talk Strategies for Growing Great Teachers and Leaders.

I hope the above list will help anyone, in any role – teacher, parent, administrator, policy-maker, politician, etc. – develop better, more defensible opinions about school choice.


Sandy Merz

I grew up in Silver City, New Mexico and went the University of New Mexico, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. After working for the U.S. Geological Survey in remote regions of western New Mexico, I moved to Tucson to attend graduate school at the University of Arizona, earning a Master of Science degree in Hydrogeology. While working as an intern hydrologist for a local county agency, I started doing volunteer work that involved making presentations in schools. At that moment I knew teaching was the path to follow. It must have been a good decision because I’m still on the path after thirty-two years. My teaching certificates are in math and science and I am a National Board Certified Teacher in Career and Technical Education. After teaching engineering and math and elective classes at the same school in downtown Tucson my whole career, I’ve moved to a different middle school and district on the edge of town to teach math. In addition to full time teaching, I am actively involved in the teacher leadership movement by facilitating National Board candidates, blogging for Stories from School Arizona, and serving on the Arizona K12 Center’s TeacherSolutions team. In January 2017, Raytheon Missile System named me a Leader in Education and I’m a former Arizona Hope Street Fellow.

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