We work to turn public education into a self-improving system, where policy enables innovation, teachers lead the learning, and schools break from traditional givens.

Recent Blog Posts

Report Says Charters Must Grow and Innovate If America Is to Succeed In Global Economy January 29, 2016

New research calls for the chartered public schools sector, now numbering 6,700+ schools with 2.9 million students, to become "better, broader, and bigger" and more innovative if it is to raise student achievement for today's global marketplace.

Chartering: A Platform for (Disruptive) Innovation December 21, 2015

A decade after Clayton Christensen’s Disrupting Class became an award-winning book, co-author Curt Johnson recalls the debate he and Clay had back in ’05 of whether charter schools were ‘disruptive’ in a theoretical sense. Johnson asserts that in practice now the evidence is clear: chartering is disrupting public education.

Teacher teams gather in Minneapolis for first Teacher-Powered Schools Conference November 11, 2015

Over 220 educators from 23 states gathered in Minnesota last weekend for the first annual Teacher-Powered Schools conference. Teacher teams from both the district and charter sectors shared lesson learned about collaboratively designing and running all aspects of their schools.

Recent Publications

Success with Innovation Is the Key to Improving Learning—and to ‘Closing the Gap’ Speech · November 2015

The Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs invited Ted Kolderie to discuss how innovation is key to systemic change in public education and how schools must resist 'the pressure for sameness'. Kolderie called upon the 'alternative' sector to share its accomplishments in innovation—thus validating the sector and making clear that what is happening there is essential for change and improvement in the mainline district sector. This is his speech.

Reimagining Teacher Preparation: An Invitation to Create New Programs for Changing Teacher Roles Report · October 2015

Teaching is the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes. And a central part of the strategy for improving teaching involves better teacher preparation. With this report, we present our own contribution to that effort: we highlight essential elements and best practices for a new, different, and we believe better, teacher preparation program.

The Split Screen Strategy: How to Turn Education Into a Self-Improving System Book · September 2015

For three decades now, the course of action has been to accept the system as it stands and to push its schools and teachers to deliver ‘better performance’. Perhaps not surprisingly, that effort to get an inert system to do-better has not proved an outstanding success. The theory of action should instead be to turn public education into a self-improving system.

Featured Work

An Initiative
Winter at our headquarters in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Photo credit.

Theory of Action

Lead the
Break From
the Givens
View the Theory