The School Choice Hoax: Fixing America’s Schools

by Ronald G. Corwin and E. Joseph Schneider, Rowman and Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2007, 256 pp. with index, $19.95 softcover

The title, The School Choice Hoax, sums up the thesis of this well-researched and informative book. Co-authors Ronald Corwin, professor emeritus of sociology at Ohio State University, and E. Joseph Schneider, distinguished senior fellow of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, state right at the outset, “We think school choice as it stands is a hoax. Independence is a blind alley, and charter schools need to be reined in to make them work for the school districts that most children attend.”



The focus of the book is primarily about two reform movements: government-sponsored charter schools and school vouchers. The authors believe vouchers and charters have been oversold with exaggerated benefits, to the extent that parents and the public will certainly be disappointed by what they actually experience.

Corwin and Schneider do a thorough review of the schools’ performance, with plenty of data to support their stance. Their solution would be to place charter schools firmly within the public school system. They use examples of successful charter schools run by public school districts to bolster this idea.