Working Paper: Theory versus Reality in Charter Schools in Colombia

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo

Working Paper: Theory v. Reality in Charter Schools in Colombia

In "Theory versus Reality in Charter Schools in Colombia," D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Hilary Hartley go beyond assessing academic outcomes to examine the process of authorization, evaluation, and enrollment to determine the degree of accountability and choice. Edwards and Hartley conclude that choice has been limited by inadequate supply, in turn curtailed by insufficient funding necessary for new Concession Schools to meet government standards; and that accountability has been compromised by the absence of a clear and common set of criteria.

By: D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Hilary Hartley
Working Paper No. 225
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

In 1999, Colombia joined many other countries in amplifying educational options by introducing charter schools. Called Concession Schools (Colegios en Concesión), they have been confined to the capital city, Bogotá, they grew in number by 2003 to 25 and remained at that count through 2014, accounting for 4 percent of the nearly 1 million students in the city's primary and secondary schools.

In "Theory versus Reality in Charter Schools in Colombia," D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Hilary Hartley go beyond assessing academic outcomes to examine the process of authorization, evaluation, and enrollment to determine the degree of accountability and choice. Edwards and Hartley conclude that choice has been limited by inadequate supply, in turn curtailed by insufficient funding necessary for new Concession Schools to meet government standards; and that accountability has been compromised by the absence of a clear and common set of criteria.

Edwards and Hartley base their findings on interviews with parents, principals of both Concessions Schools and neighboring traditional public schools, evaluators working for the Bogotá School System, and officials at the Colombian Ministry of Education; on quantitative and qualitative evaluations of schools; and on visits to both Concessions Schools and traditional public schools. The result is not only a detailed depiction of educational privatization in Bogotá but also an instructive tableau of foreign practice for comparative analysis.


View paper

Published Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2015

Working Paper: Theory v. Reality in Charter Schools in Colombia

By: D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Hilary Hartley
Working Paper No. 225
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

In 1999, Colombia joined many other countries in amplifying educational options by introducing charter schools. Called Concession Schools (Colegios en Concesión), they have been confined to the capital city, Bogotá, they grew in number by 2003 to 25 and remained at that count through 2014, accounting for 4 percent of the nearly 1 million students in the city's primary and secondary schools.

In "Theory versus Reality in Charter Schools in Colombia," D. Brent Edwards Jr. and Hilary Hartley go beyond assessing academic outcomes to examine the process of authorization, evaluation, and enrollment to determine the degree of accountability and choice. Edwards and Hartley conclude that choice has been limited by inadequate supply, in turn curtailed by insufficient funding necessary for new Concession Schools to meet government standards; and that accountability has been compromised by the absence of a clear and common set of criteria.

Edwards and Hartley base their findings on interviews with parents, principals of both Concessions Schools and neighboring traditional public schools, evaluators working for the Bogotá School System, and officials at the Colombian Ministry of Education; on quantitative and qualitative evaluations of schools; and on visits to both Concessions Schools and traditional public schools. The result is not only a detailed depiction of educational privatization in Bogotá but also an instructive tableau of foreign practice for comparative analysis.


View paper

How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends