By Lars Johnson
Education Evolving senior associate Ted Kolderie spoke to hundreds of charter school leaders at last week’s Charter Schools Development Center’s (CSDC) leadership update conference in Irvine, California. The annual conference is designed to help charter board members, developers, teachers and administrators excel by providing critical information on the latest fiscal, legislative, and regulatory changes affecting charter schools. CSDC works with almost half the chartered schools in California, now the nation's largest chartering state.
At the conference, Kolderie talked with CSDC founder Eric Premack about the past and future of chartering as a strategy for improving public education. In his discussion with Premack – a native Minnesotan who has become influential in California education policy – Kolderie talked about how and why chartering lost its initial focus on innovation, and how that now needs to be recaptured. You can download an MP3 of the discussion.
California's enactment of chartering in 1992 attracted major national attention for this 'institutional innovation' first enacted in Minnesota in 1991. Gary Hart, then a California state senator, opened the session by reflecting on its history and retelling the story of the final night of the session when he retrieved his bill from conference committee to get it enacted.