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When "the dream" turns into a nightmare: The life and death of Voyager Charter School
Educational Administration Quarterly (2013)
  • Zorka Karanxha, University of South Florida

Purpose: This article highlights the complexity of accountability issues associated with one charter school from the charter application process, operation, and functioning of the external mechanism and the internal mechanism to hold the charter school accountable, closure of the school, and consequences of the charter school’s closure on its constituents. Research Design: Utilizing retrospective case study design, 11 interviews from 6 participants, school documents, school district data, court proceedings, and newspaper accounts reconstruct the narrative of one charter school from its inception to closure and its community’s lived experience. Findings: In this case study, a charter school board’s quality of governance played a significant role in a charter school’s success or failure. Charter school board, charter school leadership, and local school authorizer played important roles in the school’s closing. Charter school authorizers, charter school boards, and charter school leaders are accountable and responsible actors in a charter school’s functioning, and negligence in fulfilling these roles can lead to a school’s closing. Teachers’ complaints are signals of a school in distress. According to teachers and parents, the school’s closure had a devastating impact on the students, teachers, and parents. Conclusions: The dual governance mechanism of charter schools can work if the charter school board, charter school leaders, and authorizers fulfill their governance roles. However, the theory does not account for human behavior in policy implementation. Charter school governing boards are well positioned to ensure accountability for individual charter schools. Charter school authorizers need to establish clear guidelines on board selection and membership.

  • charter school closure,
  • authorizer oversight,
  • charter school board
Publication Date
March 14, 2013
Citation Information
Zorka Karanxha. "When "the dream" turns into a nightmare: The life and death of Voyager Charter School" Educational Administration Quarterly (2013)
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