The integration of educational vision in the formation of charter schools in New Jersey

Diane McCauley Fellows, Fordham University


This study describes the development of the visionary process and missions of 3 charter schools in New Jersey. It examines how these visions and missions are articulated by the stakeholders of the schools and integrated and demonstrated in the operation of the schools. It identifies obstacles that were faced by the charter schools while implementing their visions. It investigates the importance of vision in the creation of educational settings and the identification of the initial vision that motivated the charter school legislation in the United States and more particularly in New Jersey. The study focuses on the importance of visionary leadership and examines the roles of educational leaders, legislators, teachers, and community members in the school reform movement in general and more specifically in the charter school movement in New Jersey. The researcher collected data from several sources. Informal taped interviews were recorded with legislators, founders, and school directors. Open-ended interviews were conducted with school stakeholders: directors, parents, teachers, founders. The researcher analyzed program documents such as charter school applications and annual reports and conducted school site visits and classroom observations. The study found that each charter school clearly identified its visions, missions, and goals in the charter applications. The founders and directors more clearly identified the mission of the schools into the daily operation of the schools. Many obstacles to the integration of the mission and vision were identified by the stakeholders. The original mission and goals of 2 of the schools were modified during the beginning years of operation. The study concludes that the most significant observable aspect of these 3 schools was the passion exhibited by the founders for creating a new and successful educational setting. The study reveals that the more effort and time that are put into formulating realistic visions, missions, and specific goals, the fewer obstacles will be presented during the initial stages.

Subject Area

School administration|Educational theory|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Fellows, Diane McCauley, "The integration of educational vision in the formation of charter schools in New Jersey" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3040395.