Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Educational entrepreneurs and the founding of charter schools in New York City
by Sperling, Robyn, Ph.D., New York University, 2012, 173; 3544011
Abstract (Summary)

In recent years, public education in the United States has become increasingly receptive to entrepreneurial activity. Charter schools, in particular, have received significant attention in the literature with research suggesting that growing numbers of educational entrepreneurs are increasingly involved with charter schools, particularly in New York City (Hentschke, 2010; Higgins et al., 2011; Hess et al, 2010). While much is known about charter schools in general, the role of the individuals who found these schools has not been well studied. Based on interviews with 23 charter school founders in NYC, this work examines these individuals specifically and explores whether and how they are—or see themselves as—entrepreneurs. This study examines the various ways charter school founders have been influenced by their own experiences, and how their educational, professional, and ideological backgrounds have inspired their decisions to create charter schools. One of the most significant findings in this study was the significant variation in entrepreneurial skills and actions taken by charter school founders, resulting in the development of a typology placing charter school founders along a continuum of entrepreneurial activity. This typology lends nuance to this charter school founder/ educational entrepreneur discussion, arguing there are variations of entrepreneurship that depend on a founder's prior professional background, their reasons for founding charter schools, their charter school ideologies, and their relationships with the community. The findings also confirm the belief that a significant group of charter school founders are non-educators driven by the ideology that the private or quasi-private sector is more efficient and autonomous than the public sector.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anderson, Gary, Siskin, Leslie S.
Commitee: Corcoran, Sean
School: New York University
Department: Administration, Leadership, and Technology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Entrepreneurship, Educational leadership, Education Policy, Educational administration, Administration of Education Programs, Elementary and Secondary Schools
Keywords: Charter schools, Education policy, Educational entrepreneur, New York City, School choice
Publication Number: 3544011
ISBN: 978-1-267-73570-6
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