From Show-Me Institute:

I have a paper out with Washington, D.C.’s R Street Institute exploring the role the civil society has played in Kansas City’s charter schooling sector. While the traditional public school district has struggled with legitimacy and engagement over the past three decades (enrollment has  been on the decline, and KCPS struggles to recruit enough candidates to make school board elections competitive), charter schools have been an outgrowth of the community, reflecting their needs, values, and desires.

In the paper, I briefly explain the roles of local philanthropists in founding and supporting high-performing charter schools, of civic organizations like the Guadalupe Centers in creating schools geared towards the needs of specific communities, and of parent groups in recruiting potential school operators to create the types of schools that they want.