Working Paper: Colombian Charter School Management

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Working Paper: Colombian Charter School Management

In this study of charter school management of teachers and resources in Bogotá, D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Stephanie M. Hall build on research from a 2015 NCSPE working paper by Edwards and Hilary Hartley focused on the authorization and evaluation of charter schools in Colombia’s capital. Among the authors’ salient findings is that teachers in Bogotá’s charter schools must be more credentialed than their counterparts at traditional public schools yet they work longer hours, earn less money, and have no job security. 

By D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Stephanie M. Hall
Working Paper No. 234
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

How traditional public schools (TPSs) and charter schools hire and manage teachers as well as acquire and allocate resources constitute central differences in administrative practice. While TPSs tend to abide by strict protocol for hiring and supervising teachers, charter schools typically exercise significant autonomy in both domains, choosing faculty by fit rather than specific credentials and employing at-will job contracts. Charter schools likewise exhibit greater independence in how they obtain and spend funds.

Some of these differences hold abroad, too, and in telling ways, as D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Stephanie M. Hall convey in this working paper on charter schools in Bogotá, entitled “Colombian Charter School Management.” Edwards and Hall build on research from a 2015 NCSPE working paper by Edwards and Hilary Hartley focused on the authorization and evaluation of charter schools in Bogotá. Called Concession Schools (Colegios en Concesión, or CECs), charters were introduced in Bogotá in 1999 to address insufficient access to quality education. By 2003, CECs totaled 25 and stood at that number until 2015, when three were closed; in 2016, the Bogotá City Council authorized the opening of 15 new CECs. With approximately 1,300 students in each school, CECs now account for 5.5 percent of the nearly 1 million students in the capital’s primary and secondary public schools.

Edwards and Hall open with a review of the literature on school operations and proceed to explain in detail how teacher management and resource acquisition at CECs differ from practices at Colombia’s TPSs. Among the authors’ salient findings is that teachers at CECs must be more credentialed than their TPS counterparts yet they work longer hours, earn less money, and have no job security. The authors base their study on statistical digests, CEC contracts and budgets, and interviews with a range of 38 stakeholders, from Colombian government ministers and program evaluators to CEC and TPS principals. Coupled with the 2015 NCSPE working paper by Edwards and Hartley, this analysis by Edwards and Hall provides at once a clear picture of school choice in Colombia and an alternative paradigm for comparative assessment.

View paper

Published Tuesday, Jun. 20, 2017

Working Paper: Colombian Charter School Management

By D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Stephanie M. Hall
Working Paper No. 234
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

How traditional public schools (TPSs) and charter schools hire and manage teachers as well as acquire and allocate resources constitute central differences in administrative practice. While TPSs tend to abide by strict protocol for hiring and supervising teachers, charter schools typically exercise significant autonomy in both domains, choosing faculty by fit rather than specific credentials and employing at-will job contracts. Charter schools likewise exhibit greater independence in how they obtain and spend funds.

Some of these differences hold abroad, too, and in telling ways, as D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Stephanie M. Hall convey in this working paper on charter schools in Bogotá, entitled “Colombian Charter School Management.” Edwards and Hall build on research from a 2015 NCSPE working paper by Edwards and Hilary Hartley focused on the authorization and evaluation of charter schools in Bogotá. Called Concession Schools (Colegios en Concesión, or CECs), charters were introduced in Bogotá in 1999 to address insufficient access to quality education. By 2003, CECs totaled 25 and stood at that number until 2015, when three were closed; in 2016, the Bogotá City Council authorized the opening of 15 new CECs. With approximately 1,300 students in each school, CECs now account for 5.5 percent of the nearly 1 million students in the capital’s primary and secondary public schools.

Edwards and Hall open with a review of the literature on school operations and proceed to explain in detail how teacher management and resource acquisition at CECs differ from practices at Colombia’s TPSs. Among the authors’ salient findings is that teachers at CECs must be more credentialed than their TPS counterparts yet they work longer hours, earn less money, and have no job security. The authors base their study on statistical digests, CEC contracts and budgets, and interviews with a range of 38 stakeholders, from Colombian government ministers and program evaluators to CEC and TPS principals. Coupled with the 2015 NCSPE working paper by Edwards and Hartley, this analysis by Edwards and Hall provides at once a clear picture of school choice in Colombia and an alternative paradigm for comparative assessment.

View paper

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