This paper applies the charter school idea to public higher education. It makes the case that deregulation coupled with a charter or agreement with the state will enable institutions to operate more efficiently and will produce higher quality educational results. The argument is based on research comparing highly regulated institutions with more independent colleges across the country, as well as interviews with a number of educational, public policy, and political leaders in Massachusetts. The authors draw on the history of Michigan as well as the more recent experience in New Jersey.
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