Case Studies ofEmerging Ethnocentric Charter Schools in Hawai'i


  • Nina K Buchanan University of Hawai'i at Hilo
  • Robert A. Fox University of Hawai'i at Hilo



Ethnocentric Schools, Charter Schools, Parent Participation, Hawaii


The fast growing charter school movement may be impeded if charter schools are perceived as a vehicle for stratifying, segregating, and balkanizing an already ethnically, socio-economically divided population. This article defines ethnocentric schools and describes three Native Hawai'ian charter schools. While they are very different in curricula and in emphasis on the Hawai'ian language and other features, they all have strong community support and a high degree of parental involvement and have access to funds available only for Native Hawai'ian programs. It may be easy to support the expenditure of public funds for ethnocentric charter schools in areas like Hawai'i where ethnic minorities have traditionally been underserved. The issues raised in this study may have broader implications for the evolution of American public education. The question is not what criteria to apply to distinguish schools of "good" choice from schools of "bad" choice. In final analysis we must ask, are schools of choice truly schools of choice, or not?


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Author Biographies

Nina K Buchanan, University of Hawai'i at Hilo

Nina K. Buchanan is an Educational Psychologist and Professor of Education at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and is Co-Director the UH Charter School Resource Center. She has co-edited (with John F. Feldhusen) Conducting Research and Evaluation in Gifted Education: A Handbook of Methods and Applications. Her latest work has been in talent development through innovative high school programs. She is a contributing editor of Roeper Review and serves on the Local School Boards of the West Hawai'i Explorations Academy and Wai Ola Public Charter Schools.

Robert A. Fox, University of Hawai'i at Hilo

Robert A. Fox is a Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Hawai'i at Hilo where he also serves as Co-Director of the University of Hawai'i Charter School Resource Center. He has served as an elected member of the Hawai'i State Board of Education. Current research interests include the affect of collective bargaining on charter schools and the struggle between charter schools and the traditional educational establishment.




How to Cite

Buchanan, N. K., & Fox, R. A. (2003). Case Studies ofEmerging Ethnocentric Charter Schools in Hawai’i. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11, 8.