Charter schools and vouchers have thus far been promoted or vilified based on their potential to improve academic achievement for those students enrolled in them. This debate, however, ignores a more important question: whether these educational policies serve the public good. Education as a public good cannot be reduced solely to questions of academic achievement, much less the academic achievement of a subset of students. Theoretically, charter schools and vouchers can serve the public good, but in practice, they have not. This shortcoming, however, is not necessarily due to an inherent flaw in charters or vouchers, but the failure of public policy to place limits on them to ensure they serve the public good.
Derek W. Black Charter Schools, Vouchers, and the Public Good 48 Wake Forest L. Rev. 445 (2013).