Carol Ascher writes fiction, memoirs, personal essays, scholarly articles and book reviews. Her fiction and nonfiction often explore the themes of prejudice and inequality. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she has spent much of her professional life writing about urban public schools. read more


  • Beating the Odds

    Carol Ascher & Cindy Maguire

    [PDF: 37 pages, 1.7 MB]

    This report describes a follow-up qualitative study, conducted in 2006 by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, of a small group of New York City high schools that, according to 2001 data, were "beating the odds" in preparing low-performing ninth grade students for timely high school graduation and college going.

  • The Life Cycle in Charter School Facilities Development

    Carol Ascher

    [Charter School Review, Fall 2007, Vol. 1, Issue 02: pages 31-35]

    This paper, based on interviews with charter school operators and the finance community involved with charter schools in 15 states, investigates the stages of facility needs that charter schools move through during their first five years

  • New York City's Middle-Grade Schools: Platforms for Success or Pathways to Failure?

    Community Involvement Program

    [PDF: 28 pages, 586 KB]

    This report illustrates how New York City's middle-grade schools are failing to prepare students for the rigorous high school work that will enable them to succeed in college.



  • The Force of Ideas

    Carol Ascher

    [PDF: 45 pages, 322 KB]

    This article describes a little-known aspect of both Viennese educational history and the movement for psychoanalytic pedagogy during the interwar years.

  • Precarious Space: Majority Black Suburbs and their Public Schools

    Carol Ascher & Edwina Branch-Smith

    [Teachers College Record, Vol. 107, No. 09: pages 1956-1973]

    This article draws on the experiences of Plainfield, New Jersey, and Prince George's County, Maryland, to describe how strained resources, a history of racialized conflicts in governance and a perception of students as " inner city" contribute to low student achievement in public schools in predominantly Black suburbs.

  • School Choice and Diversity: What the Evidence Says

    Chapter: An Examination of Charter School Equity

    Carol Ascher & Nathalis Wamba, editor Janelle Scott

    This book argues that the political and social contexts under which school choice plans are adopted are the primary factors in shaping student diversity within schools.

  • Building Partnerships: Community Voices in Planning and Developing New York City School Facilities

    Carol Asher, Jodie Harris, Joan Byron, & Kavitha Mediratta

    [PDF: 86 pages, 416 KB]

    This report documents how parents, students, local residents and community organizations are currently involved in the planning and development of school facilities in New York City, and are identifying ways their participation might be expanded.



  • An Examination of Charter School Equity

    Carol Ascher & Nathalis Wamba

    [Education and Urban Society, vol. 35, number 4 (August 2003): pages 462-476]

    In this article, the authors investigate the implications of charter school choice on the racial balance, resources, and outcome of charter schools.

  • Charter School Accountability in New York: Findings from a Three-Year Study of Charter School Authorizers

    Carol Ascher, Juan Echazarreta, Robin Jacobowitz, Yolanda McBride, Tammi Troy, & Nathalis Wamba

    [PDF: 48 pages, 520 KB]

    This study gives an account of the experiences of three charter school authorizing agencies in New York State. These agencies have focused their oversight on three types of accountability: performance-based accountability, contractual accountability, and regulatory accountability.

  • Governance and Administrative Structure in New York City Charter Schools

    Carol Ascher, Juan Echazarreta, Robin Jacobowitz, Yolanda McBride, & Tammi Troy

    [PDF: 44 pages, 324 KB]

    This final report of a three-year study explores the developing infrastructure in New York City charter schools and identified areas in which school stakeholders-private partners, boards of trustees, school leaders, parents and teachers-often needed support to help charter schools succeed.

  • Review of Charters, Vouchers, and Public Education

    Carol Ascher

    [Teachers College Record, Vol. 105, No. 01: pages 128-133]

    This review examines the book "Charters, Vouchers, and Public Education", based on essays first presented at a Program on Education Policy and Governance held at Harvard University in March 2000.

  • Review of The Charter School Landscape

    Carol Ascher

    [Teachers College Record, Vol. 105, No. 07: pages 1302-1306]

    This review examines the book "The Charter School Landscape", based on interesting information, insights, and analyses on charter schools in eleven different states and one Canadian province.




  • Going Charter, Lessons from Two First-Year Studies

    Carol Ascher, Robin Jacobowitz, Yolanda McBride, & Nathalis Wamba

    [PDF: 50 pages, 131 KB]

    Based on the findings of two (?) studies, Going Charter and Going Charter: Systemic Effects, this report examines the impact of charter legislation and implementation on the charter school authorizers and other agencies in New York City and State.