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Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education.

SERVING OUR CHILDREN: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education. Kevin P. Chavous. Sterling, VA: Capital Books, 2004. 182 pp. Hardcover. $22.95. Kevin P. Chavous writes from a unique perspective as a non-educator, supporter of the teaching profession, and self-described "typical" urban Democrat. He currently serves as Chair of the Council of District of Columbia's Committee on Education, Libraries, and Recreation. His outspoken opinions on charter schools and school choice have been an important voice in the ongoing controversy regarding school reform. Like Chavous, more and more African Americans are resisting the liberal discourse of negativity toward charter schools.

Written in a conversational style, the book is equally readable by educators, parents, students, and politicians of every political stripe. He gives a fair portrayal of charter schools' failures and glowing reports of success. Chavous's philosophy is summed up by this statement: "No matter what union officials or traditional-school activists say, it is abundantly clear that traditional school systems never have and never will reform themselves internally" (p. 75).

The book makes a judgment that neither charters nor vouchers can meet the needs of all students. Chavous envisions a three-prong approach using charters, vouchers, and regular public schools to meet the needs of all students (p. 75). He foresees a blending of purpose in which "charters and traditional schools converge to form a unitary system where they are largely reform-driven and indistinguishable in their characteristics" (p. 155).

Patricia Lundeen,

Doctoral Fellow, Azusa Pacific University,

and Garvey School District,

Rosemead, California, Corcoran Unified

School District, Corcoran, California,

and Apple Valley Unified School,

Apple Valley, CA
COPYRIGHT 2004 Association for Childhood Education International
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Lundeen, Patricia
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 2004
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