I don’t think Ted Kolderie is going to get very far with his Lakoff-like effort at changing the verbiage around public charter schools, but the underlying point he makes is really quite important and will be even more important as more schools become called “charter schools.”
Kolderie: The [charter school] laws – now in working form in 25 or more states – are enabling laws. They do not create schools: They make it possible for people to create schools. People are free to take whatever approach to learning they think might work; are free to use whatever model of organization they prefer; are free to install whatever school-culture they think might better motivate kids. A chartered school is not a kind of school.
As I asked the other day, what do online virtual schools and a program like KIPP really have in common at anything but the broadest level? See also this interesting Bruno Manno* – Marty West paper (pdf) on charter schools and NCLB for another slice of this issue (skip to page 3 if you’re in a hurry). *He’s been a funder of mine for a while, but the paper is interesting anyway!