MsoNormal"> *          American Pro-Constitutional Association

*          Kuyper Institute for Political Studies



*          Eagle Forum of Arkansas

*          Eagle Forum of California

*          Eagle Forum of Kansas

*          Eagle Forum of Michigan

*          Eagle Forum of Texas

*          Christian Coalition of Georgia

*          Christian Coalition of Missouri

*          Christian Coalition of New York

*          Christian Coalition of Pennsylvania

*          American Family Assoc. of Alabama

*          American Family Assoc. of Kentucky

*          American Family Assoc. of New Jersey

*          National Mini Convention Political Party

*          Eagle Forum of Ohio

*          Human Events

*          Alabama Physician's Resource Council

*          North Georgia Home Educators Association

*          Michigan Decency Action Council

*          Local Government Council

*          Women for Responsible Legislation

*          National Center for Constitutional Studies

*          Liberty Counsel

*          Vocal Foundation

*          Christian Coalition of California

*          Citizens for Choice in Health Care - Minnesota

*          Citizens Against Repressive Zoning

*          Pacific Research Institute

*          Eagle Forum of Washington 

*          People For the USA

*          Constitutional Coalition 

*          American Land Rights Association

*          Center for the American Founding 

*          League of American Families




The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation


[Note: This foundation, now affiliated with the Manhattan Institute, was formerly affiliated with the Hudson Institute. [GOALS 2000] Chester Finn's state network the Education Excellence Network is based at Fordham. Fordham's publications are written as positive spins on the charter school movement.]


• To view the press release for Charter Schools In Action, click here.

• To view the reports that preceded Charter Schools In Action, click here.

• To view other Fordham reports and articles about charter schools, click here.

• Charter Schools In Action is currently available wherever good books are sold.


Charter Schools In Action: Renewing Public Education

by Chester E. Finn Jr., Bruno V. Manno, and Gregg Vanourek

Press Release for 

Charter Schools In Action: Renewing Public Education


"The charter school movement is one of the most promising reforms to hit public education in a long time, and no one is better prepared to explain its significance than Finn, Manno, and Vanourek. These scholars have been studying the ins and outs and ups and downs of charter schools from the beginning, documenting the successes and limitations of the charter model for policymakers in Congress and in statehouses across the country. Now they are doing the same for the general public with this informative, insightful, and inspiring book. I would encourage anyone who cares about the future of our public schools to read it."

-Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut)


Can Charter Schools Save Public Education?

Bill Clinton wants to triple the number of charter schools by the year 2010. George W. Bush wants to set aside $3 billion of federal money to support facilities for them. The public consistently says that education is one of the most important issues facing the country. And charter schools have emerged as one of the liveliest and most promising strategies for solving the problems of American education. Yet most people are unfamiliar with the whole concept.


CHARTER SCHOOLS IN ACTION: Renewing Public Education offers the explanation that they've been waiting for. Indeed, it provides the most comprehensive examination to date of the charter movement. Published by Princeton University Press (March, 2000; 280 pages; $27.95; cloth), this important new book by Chester E. Finn, Jr., Bruno V. Manno and Gregg Vanourek answers the vital questions: What exactly are charter schools? Why have they garnered bipartisan political support? How are they succeeding? Where are they failing? What challenges do they face? Are they the answer to America's education crisis?


The first charter school opened in 1992. Today, barely seven years later, nearly 1,700 charter schools are serving 350,000 students in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C. alone has 28 charter schools enrolling a remarkable ten percent of the District's children. From Phoenix to Boston, San Diego to Detroit, determined parents, teachers and community groups are reshaping American education in a way that utilizes the dynamism and responsiveness of the free market while maintaining the publicly funded, universal access to public education that Americans crave. The authors visited over 100 schools, conducted hundreds of interviews and surveyed scores of parents, teachers and students. 


CHARTER SCHOOLS IN ACTION is a fact-filled, hard hitting, engaging and accessible examination of the history, problems, successes, innovations and future of the charter movement. It also addresses, in an even-handed and constructive manner, objections to charter schools and the opposition they face on several fronts, including resistance from local school boards and teachers' unions. The authors' insights about the many problems facing these schools are among the book's many important contributions.


CHARTER SCHOOLS IN ACTION argues that, by making their policies, practices, problems and accomplishments transparent, charter schools can successfully be held accountable for the education they provide without resorting to heavy-handed regulation. Indeed, charter schools are more accountable than schools in the current system. If a school is failing, eliminate it. If it pleases no families, nobody need attend it. Such options don't exist in the traditional school model.


Finn, Manno and Vanourek also show how charter schools are at the center of-and help to restore-vital communities, encouraging parental involvement and responding to a community's priorities.


The book's final chapter examines a city in the not-so-distant future where every public school is a charter school. It provides an imaginative, insightful and engaging window onto a better future for American schoolchildren.


CHARTER SCHOOLS IN ACTION will frame the discussion of the charter phenomenon for years to come, and the issues it examines will only become more relevant as the number of these schools increases. This is almost sure to happen; and Chester Finn, Bruno Manno and Gregg Vanourek find that charter schools are well on their way to renewing American public education.






The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

1627 K Street, NW, Suite 600 Washington, DC 20006 

(202) 223-5452; (202) 223-9226 (fax) 

To order publications:

(888) TBF-7474 or



The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is affiliated with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

The Foundation is neither connected with nor sponsored by Fordham University.



Paul Allen Bankrolls Charter Schools Initiative


Seattle Weekly

Published September 7 - 13, 2000


Political education




Very quietly, multibillionaire Paul Allen is buying another statewide election.


Allen, you'll remember, found himself in 1997 with the need to go to the polls for public financing of a football stadium. Faced with a bit of unpopular corporate welfare, Allen came up with a unique approach to getting his way in the electoral arena: He threw so much money at the proposition--some $12 million, over a hundred times the bankroll of the opposition--that there was no way he could lose.


Still, he almost did lose, and so for his second foray into electioneering he has chosen an issue with no organized opposition. Yet. I-729, the charter schools initiative, has been largely financed thus far by Allen and his family, with a pledge of an additional $2 million coming last month.


There are no spending or contribution limits in initiative campaigns, and one gets the sense that Allen is willing to spend as much money as it takes--it is, after all, nearly meaningless sums of money in the context of his stupefying wealth. Two million is about 1/20,000th of Allen's net worth--the equivalent of a candy bar if you're poor, a dinner out if you're comfortably middle class. It is, in other words, nothing.


Like the stadium campaign, Allen has chosen an issue for which he potentially stands to make his investment back. Allen has large financial interest in two education-related companies, including Edison Schools, which runs private charter schools. He has invested in about a half-dozen other education companies. 

His spokespeople claim that Edison and the other properties are a minor part of Allen's portfolio and simply reflect his ongoing interest in education, as with his contributions to I-729. But the same thing could have been said about the football stadium campaign and Allen's ongoing interest in sports--a deal on which Allen made millions from the increased value of the Seahawks football franchise as soon as the initiative passed. (Currently, Allen's Edison Schools can't profit from I- 729, but that could easily change.)


…The problem is that unlimited spending gives a person with the ability and inclination to spend it an inordinate advantage. In this state, we have two people with unlimited ability, but only one, Allen, who has chosen to throw public elections his way. Allen still has to win the election, but his odds are overwhelming given extensive mailings and television ads with virtually no ability by opponents to reply. It's a slap in the face to democracy. One dollar, one vote is a lousy system when one side has personal interest and unlimited dollars.


In this case, the charter schools initiative will need Allen's money. I-729 is not polling particularly well; a poll in July by Stuart Elway of all the state's initiatives gave I-729 the second-lowest ranking among all of them, with only 47 percent supporting the initiative compared to 41 percent against. Initiatives tend to do well in the polls early on, before opponents have had a chance to get their message out; the statistical dead heat for I-729, prior to the existence of any organized opposition, would ordinarily mean the initiative is in trouble. But with Allen's money, any opponents will have a much harder task.


Charters steal the best 


Thirty-six states have some form of charter schools, and I-729 is a relatively mild proposal, less radical than the charter schools initiative that failed (without Allen's support) in 1996. Under I-729, up to 80 charter schools would be allowed in the state in the next four years, with the stipulation that the schools be sponsored by school districts or state universities. They would be operated by nonprofit organizations with their own boards of directors…


…I-729 is a cautious step in the right direction. But Allen's involvement raises a couple of red flags. First, the stipulation that charter schools be publicly run can be overturned by this year's probable Republican legislature in Olympia--as easily, say, as a state legislature can ignore the public will in financing a stadium when a really rich guy, who can break political careers, wants it…


And, of course, with Allen… the danger is that the cruel and expensive hoax of wiring classrooms for computer learning is all too easy a money suck having nothing to do with improving a child's education.


Charter schools can also be seen as a step toward Allen's dream of remote-control education by terminals--a dangerous trend that leads to ignorant and antisocial students. But that's a rant for another time. For the moment, it's enough to note that a man who apparently can't ever get enough--money or power--is buying another statewide election.


© 1998-2000 Seattle Weekly 



Understanding RAC and ERI

[Restructuring Advisory Committee / Education Renewal Institute]


Issaquah's Restructuring Advisory Committee [RAC] had made the decision to implement the Student for the Future survey. 


The RAC was a relatively new concept in school district management. A deal had been struck between the WA Business Roundtable, the teacher's union [WEA], other education stakeholders (PTA, the associations for principals, school administrators, and school boards), creating ERI [Education Renewal Institute 1993]. Issaquah became one of four pilot projects in Washington state to implement school reform. And the cost was high despite many failures.


“ERI has raised and spent $1.4 million…Almost all of ERI's support has come from the Roundtable member companies…Compare this modest but promising effort with two other reform programs. In Michigan a reform effort with $10 million a year, mostly Kellogg money, is working with only 20 schools –– not districts. After three years the claim three of the 20 have done something significant. The Coalition of Essential Schools, led by Theodore Sizer [CES is based at Brown University. RAND's Paul Hill identified CES a “distinguished” curriculum for school reform] and funded by national foundations and corporations, is working in 150 schools across the country. After 6-8 years, they estimate they are getting significant results in about 20 of them.” [Educational Renewal Institute, February 1994, emphasis added]


ERI and Issaquah’s restructuring committee, RAC, were one-in-the-same: ERI/RAC


One of the four ERI pilot projects was Pasco, WA. The Roundtable consistently referred to Pasco as a “best practices” model for education reform during the legislative sessions considering the GOALS 2000 legislation in Washington. However, it came to light that no measurable improvements had occurred. Nevertheless, Larry Nyland, the former superintendent of Pasco was hired as a full time educational ‘expert’ consultant to the Governor's education task force––GCERF––considering GOALS 2000. The Roundtable brought other GOALS 2000 strategists to the state at that time:


GCERF Expert Consultants


John Chubb, Brookings Institution

Michael Kirst, Stanford University – “an expert on charter schools”

Fred P. Haley, Brown & Haley Company

Jeff Lewis, Vice President Sea First National Bank [now Bank of America]

Shirley McCune, Senior Director, McREL Center for Educational Equity  

Larry Nyland, Education Consultant (now on faculty Seattle Pacific University [SPU])

Marc S. Tucker, National Center on Education and the Economy

[Formerly with Carnegie for the Advancement of Teaching and the National Alliance for Restructuring Education/NARE GOALS 2000 NASDC design team]

David Hornbeck, Co-Director of NARE and Senior Education Consultant, National Business Roundtable

[Formerly with Carnegie for the Advancement of Teaching and the Pew forum on Education Reform]


*NARE was a winner of the GOALS New American Schools design teams; a case where the strategists for the contest won the contest. The NARE design team submitted a proposal to the Pew Charitable Trust: “We are asking the Pew Charitable Trusts to provide us with $1 million per year for the next three years…”


The NARE Design Team Partners

[partial listing]

Apple Computer, Inc.

The Center for the Study of Social Policy, Washington D.C. [human services are tied to the GOALS 2000 education outcomes through GOALS 2000]

National Center on Education and the Economy [former name: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of  Teaching]

Learning and Research Development Center, New Standards Project, University of Pittsburgh - Lauren Resnick & Robert Glaser

[their work served as the new performance-based assessment model for GOALS 2000 testing for outcomes]

National Alliance of Business

Public Agenda Foundation - Cyrus Vance [CFR] & Daniel Yankelovich [CFR]

Harvard University Project on Effective Services [human services are tied to the GOALS 2000 education outcomes]

National Alliance of Business


Any one visiting the Issaqua RAC/ERI meetings would make an amazing discovery. The sole parent-member of the Restructuring Committee––Phil Bussey––was also the Chairman of the Restructuring Committee. This was indeed a very unusual circumstance.  Add to this that Mr. Bussey was/is the WA Business Roundtable's President and the Roundtable’s lead education policy man for all of Washington State––registered as the paid Business Roundtable lobbyist to the Washington state of Washington. He was hardly just a concerned parent. The Issaquah Restructuring Committee was part of Bussey’s full-time job! This is how GOALS 2000 is being introduced at the community level; the federal plan is being integrated at the local level by the National Business Roundtable's state representatives. Shadow Mr. Bussey and you have a window on GOALS 2000 for Washington state. Travel to another state, find their Business Roundtable rep. and the pattern is repeated many times over.



Charter Schools, Character Education & The Eugenics Internationale



14. American Civil Rights Union

15. American Conservative Union

16. American Council For Immigration Reform

17. American Decency Association

18. American Family Association

19. American Family Association of Kentucky

20. American Family Association of Michigan

21. American Family Association of New Jersey

22. American Family Association of New York

23. American Family Defense Coalition, California Central Coast Chapter

24. American Freedom Crusade

25. American Immigration Control

26. American Land Rights Association

27. American Policy Center 

28. American Pro-Constitutional Association (AMPROCON) 

29. American Renewal

30. American Shareholders Association

31. Americans For Military Readiness

32. Americans For Tax Reform

33. Americans For The Right To Life

34. Americans For Voluntary School Prayer

35. Americans United For The Unity Of Church and State 

36. Arkansas Family Council

37. Association of American Educators

38. Association of Christian Schools International

39. Association of Concerned Taxpayers

40. Association of Maryland Families

41. Baptist International Missions, Inc. 

42. Brass Roots

43. BrotherWatch

44. California Public Policy Foundation

45. California Republican Assembly

46. Calvary Baptist Academy

47. Campaign For California Families

48. Capital Research Center

49. Catholic Citizens Of Illinois


51. Center for a Sound Economy

52. Center For Military Readiness (CMR) 

53. Center for Pro-Life Studies

54. Center For Reclaiming America

55. Christian Coalition of Alabama

56. Christian Coalition of America

57. Christian Coalition of California

58. Christian Coalition of Florida

59. Christian Coalition of Georgia

60. Christian Coalition of Ohio

61. Christian Coalition Of Rhode Island

62. Christian Schools of Vermont

63. Christian Voice

64. Christus Medicus Foundation

65. Citizen Soldier

66. Citizens Against Higher Taxes


67. Citizens Against Repressive Zoning

68. Citizens For A Sound Economy

69. Citizens For Community Values

70. Citizens For Constitutional Property Rights

71. Citizens For Excellence In Education

72. Citizens For Law and Order

73. Citizens For Less Government

74. Citizens For Traditional Values

75. Citizens United

76. CNP Action, Inc. 

77. Coalition For Better Community Standards

78. Coalition For Constitutional Liberties

79. Coalition for Local Sovereignty

80. Coalition On Urban Renewal and Education (C.U.R.E.) 

81. Coalitions For America

82. Colorado Association of Christian Schools

83. Committee For a Republican Future

84. Concerned Citizens Opposed To Police States

85. Concerned Women For America

86. Concerned Women For America of Virginia

87. Conservative Caucus, Inc. 

88. Conservative Victory Fund

89. Constitution Party of Vermont

90. Council of Conservative Citizens, Inc. 

91. Crime Victims United of California

92. Culture of Life Foundation

93. Cutting Edge - A Talk Show

94. Delaware Home Education Association

95. Delaware Christian Coalition

96. Eagle Forum

97. Eagle Forum of Alabama

98. Eagle Forum of Arkansas

99. Eagle Forum of California

100. Eagle Forum of Georgia

101. Eagle Forum of Mississippi

102. Eagle Forum of New Jersey

103. Eagle Forum of North Carolina

104. Eagle Forum of Ohio

105. Eagle Forum of Rhode Island

106. Eagle Forum of South Carolina

107. Eagle Forum of Wisconsin

108. English First

109. Environmental Conservation Organization

110. Erie Citizens Against Pornography

111. Evergreen Freedom Foundation

112. Families Allied for Intelligent Reform of Education (FAIRE) 

113. Family Association of Kentucky

114. Family First, Nebraska

115. Family Life Communications

116. Family Policy Network

117. Family Research Council

118. Family Research Forum of Wisconsin

119. Family Research Institute of Wisconsin

120. Family Taxpayers Network

121. Florida Eagle Forum, Inc. 

122. Focus On The Family

123. Freedom Alliance

124. Friends of Oregon

125. Georgia Report

126. Global Evangelism Television

127. Government Is Not God - PAC

128. Graham Williams Group

129. Granite State Taxpayers

130. Guardians of Education for Maine

131. Hawaii Christian Coalition

132. Heritage Ridge Church and School

133. Home Education Radio Network

134. Home School Legal Defense Association

135. Human Life Alliance

136. Illinois Association of Christian Schools


137. Illinois Citizens For Life

138. Illinois Right To Life Committee

139. Independent Women's Forum

140. Indiana Eagle Forum

141. Information Radio Network

142. Islamic Institute Foundation

143. Justice For Murder Victims

144. Kansas Conservative Union

145. Kansas Eagle Forum

146. Kansas For Life

147. Kansas Taxpayers Network

148. KBRT AM 740, Costa Mesa, Ca

149. KFLR Radio - Phoenix, Arizona

150. Landmark Legal Foundation

151. Landowners Association of North Dakota (LAND) 

152. Law Enforcement Alliance of America

153. Liberty Counsel

154. Life Action League of Massachusetts

155. Life Advocacy Alliance

156. Life Coalition International

157. Life Issues Institute

158. Life Legal Defense Foundation

159. Louisiana Family Forum

160. Madison Project

161. Maine Right To Life Committee

162. Maryland Constitution Party

163. Maryland Taxpayers Association

164. Massachusetts Citizens For Life

165. Massachusetts Eagle Forum

166. Massachusetts Family Institute

167. Medina County Christian Coalition

168. Memory Of Victims Everywhere (M.O.V.E.) 

169. Michigan Decency Action Council

170. Michigan Family Forum

171. Minnesota Association of Christian Schools

172. Minnesota Christian Coalition

173. Mississippi Family Council

174. Missouri Eagle Forum

175. National Association Of Christian Educators

176. National Center For Constitutional Studies

177. National Center For Home Education

178. National Coalition For The Protection of Children and Families

179. National Federation of Republican Assemblies

180. National Institute of Family Life and Advocates

181. National Legal Foundation

182. National Liberty Journal

183. National Rifle Association

184. National Tax Limitation Committee

185. National Taxpayers Union

186. Neighborhood Research/Mountaintop Media

187. Nevada Republican Assembly

188. New Hampshire Right To Life

189. New Jersey Christian Coalition

190. New Jersey Family Policy Council

191. New York Eagle Forum

192. North Carolina Christian School Association

193. North Carolina Conservatives United

194. Northern Virginia Republican Action Committee

195. Northwest Legal Foundation

196. Oklahoma Family Policy Council

197. Old Dominion Association of Church Schools

198. Open Door Baptist Church


199. Operation Rescue

200. Operation Save America

201. Organized Victims of Violent Crime

202. Parents in Control

203. Parents Rights Coalition of Massachusetts

204. Pennsylvania Family Institute

205. Pennsylvania Landowners Association

206. Pennsylvania Republican Assembly

207. People Advancing Christian Education

208. Pro-Life Action League

209. Pro-Life America

210. Pro-Life Ohio

211. Project 21

212. Property Rights Congress

213. PROVE (Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education) 

214. Providence Foundation

215. Religious Freedom Coalition

216. Republican National Coalition For Life

217. Republican Platform Committee

218. Republicans Against Pornography

219. Right To Life of Cincinnati

220. Save Americas Youth

221. Second Amendment Sisters

222. Small Business Survival Committee

223. South Dakota Family Policy Council

224. South Dakota Shooting Sports Association

225. Sovereignty International

226. Taxpaying Adults

227. Teen-Aid, Inc. 

228. Tennessee Association of Christian Schools

229. Tennessee Eagle Forum

230. Texas Eagle Forum

231. Texas Home School Coalition

232. Texas Journal

233. The Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values

234. The American Family Policy Institute

235. The American Pistol and Rifle Association of Vermont

236. The Armstrong Foundation

237. The Center For Arizona Policy

238. The Center For Equal Opportunity

239. The Christian Civil League of Maine

240. The Constitutional Coalition

241. The Family Council

242. The Family Foundation

243. The Family Institute of Connecticut

244. The National Center For Public Policy Research

245. The Niobrara Institute

246. The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

247. The Strategic Policies Institute

248. Toward Tradition

249. Tradition Family, Property, Inc. 

250. Traditional Values Coalition

251. U.S. Family Network

252. United Seniors Association

253. US Business and Industry Council

254. Utah Eagle Forum

255. Utah Republican Assembly

256. Watchdogs Against Government Abuse (WAG) 

257. Weld County Republicans

258. West Virginians Against Government Waste

259. Whatcom County Republican Party

260. Wisconsin Information Network (WIN) 

261. Wisconsin State Sovereignty Coalition

262. Young America's Foundation

263. Young Americans For Freedom



Free Congress Foundation 

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt Educational Organization

717 Second Street, NE

Washington, DC 20002

Tel: 202-546-3000

Fax: 202-543-5605

Contributions are tax-deductible.      Web Site by Gen-X Strategies

© 2000, Free Congress Foundation

® All rights reserved. 



Free Congress Foundation's Center for Technology Policy

Coalition for Constitutional Liberties members:


*          Americans for Tax Reform

*          American Legislative Exchange Council

*          National Center for Public Policy Analysis

*          American Policy Center

*          Gun Owner's of America

*          Alabama Family Alliance

*          Center for Arizona Policy

*          Iowa Family Policy Center

*          Maine Christian Civic League

*          Massachusetts Family Institute

*          Minnesota Family Council

*          Pennsylvania Commonwealth Foundation 

*          North Carolina Family Policy Council

*          Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

*          Texas Free Market Foundation

*          Tennessee Family Institute

*          Coral Ridge Ministries Media

*          South Carolina Policy Council

*          Alabama Citizens for Truth

*          Christian Values in Action Coalition

*          Citizens for Community Values

*          Texas Right to Life Committee

*          Wisonsin State Sovereignty Coalition

*          Life Coalition International

*          Christian Exchange      

*          Constitutional Heritage Institute (NE)

*          US Family Network

     *         HARTLAND

*          American Focus

*          Sutherland Institute (UT)

*          Evergreen Freedom Foundation (WA)

*          American Assoc. of Christian Schools

*          The Internet Guild


*          America's Future

*          Neighborhood Research

*          Anonymizer Inc.

*          Family Research Institute of Wisconsin

*          Independence Institute (CO)

*          Citizens for a Sound Economy

*          Center for the American Experiment (MN)

*          Rutherford Institute

*          Family Policy Center (MO)

*          Defenders of Property Rights

*          Government is not God PAC

*          Sovereign Citizens Against Numbering

*          Faith and Freedom

*          NW Council of Governments

*          Independent American Party of Nevada

*          West Virginia Family Foundation

*          Christian Home Educators of Kentucky

*          Capitol Hill Prayer Alert

*          Coalition of Politically Active Christians

*          Tradition, Family, Property

*          Life Issues Institute