Advisor

Vogel, Linda

Committee Member

Weiler, Spencer

Committee Member

Cohen, Michael

Committee Member

Erekson, James

Department

Leadership, Policy, and Development: Higher Ed and P-12 Education Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Institution

University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources

Text

Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)

Publisher

University of Northern Colorado

Date Created

5-2018

Extent

213 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital

Abstract

Charter schools have arguably been one of the fastest growing educational reform efforts in the United States. As a structural reform, charter schools have relied on autonomy as one mechanism by which to fundamentally change the way schools operate. Many questions remain about how autonomy manifests in practice and if it does, in fact, contribute to improved outcomes for students. This qualitative, multi-site, instrumental case study explored how five Colorado charter school principals interpreted and utilized their autonomy to fulfill their schools’ missions. Data analysis of semi-structured interviews, documents, and observations revealed six themes including: sufficient autonomy, autonomy as a contextualized construct, utilization of autonomy, influence of charter school boards, constraints to autonomy, and autonomy and opportunity costs. Implications for practice included evaluating conditions which promote autonomy, training for charter school leaders, mitigating opportunity costs, and charter school specific accountability systems.

Degree type

PhD

Degree Name

Doctoral

Local Identifiers

Maxwell_unco_0161D_10641

Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.

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