Law and Institutional Competition in Charter School Authorization
Kelsey Mayo

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Berkeley

Primary Discipline

Educational Policy
This dissertation empirically investigates the context and conditions of charter school authorization in California, a state with two decades of charter experience and the largest population of charter schools in the nation. In particular, the project targets determinations of charter failure (defined as the denial of an initial petition, failure to reauthorize, or charter revocation). Drawing on neo-institutional theories of how formal mandates and broader legal environments are both interpreted and created within organizations, I employ quantitative and event history analysis of the past ten years of California charter data and in-depth case studies of individual authorization processes for two central purposes: 1) to understand where and why charter schools fail, and 2) to trace competing institutional demands and plural legal understandings within the spaces and processes of charter authorization. My project extends theoretical perspectives of institutional competition and the organizational mediation of law within the field of education and contributes practical knowledge of charter oversight and authorizer process to lawyers, advocates, and education policymakers.
About Kelsey Mayo

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