Jeffrey R. Henig

Columbia University

Jeffrey R. Henig, professor of political science at George Washington University, will study the charter school movement as a case study of how for-profit and non-profit enterprises are taking on responsibilities formerly assigned to government. Charter schools blur the borders between public and private, but most of the thinking behind charter schools adopts a market model, assuming that charter schools will act like responsive commercial enterprises competing for customers. Henig suggests that charter schools might instead behave like political interest groups, using lobbying and protest to advance their agenda rather than attending to the needs of consumers. To test these competing views of charter schools, Henig will write a book about the D.C. school system, which has one of the highest concentrations of charter schools in the country, as well as a highly organized political culture.


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