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Electronics Technology for Public School Systems: A Superintendent’s View

George Young, in 1981 superintendent of St. Paul, foresaw technology as a tool not to replace teachers, but to help them do their jobs. Using technology to individualize education can reform a system where students are lumped into grades and instructed as a group regardless of their learning style and abilities.

Mother Teresa As a Charter School

Institutions other than public education have found it useful not to let the mission depend on just a single organization. Historically the Catholic Church has been one of these. There is the hierarchy, but there are also the orders.

District-Initiated Chartered Schools

Some districts see chartering as a part of their strategy for change and improvement. Here we review three Minnesota districts that authorize chartered schools: Faribault, Hopkins and Waseca. The 'common market' approach of pooling courses, facilities, programs and transportation of district, chartered, private and home schooling in Faribault is particularly striking.

Trend Accelerating Toward an ‘Open Sector’ in Public Education.

A policy brief providing an update on the current status of chartered schools and charter-ing in Minnesota. Includes the latest statistics on the charters that are operating in the 2004-2005 school year, information on the most recent round of charter approvals, an update on Minnesota’s growing cadre of sponsors and more.

Restructuring Our High Schools for the 21st Century: Creating ‘Grade 11-13’ Schools

Currently, students are held until 12th grade even if they can move faster. The Minnesota Post-secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEO) showed that bright high school students can do well with college-level work. The Grade 11-13 model goes even further, restructuring both high school and the first year of college, un-duplicating the curriculum.

Essentials of the Charter School Strategy

A quick summary of the essentials of the charter idea, written in 1994, is still basically applicable today.

Sponsoring Charters: A Resource Guide for Minnesota Authorizers

A guide for charter school authorizing, from the decision to authorize through contract development. It covers how to assist and oversee the school, and clarifies the relationship to and duties of the state department of education, the sponsor and the board of the chartered school. It also explains the 'Sponsor-Initiated School,' whereby an authorizer actively solicits new school proposals.

Resisting the Temptation to Comprehensive Action

Consider a given public policy problem. Everyone sees the problem is complex. From this comes an impulse to control all its elements. Everyone sees the importance of improvement. From this comes an impulse to command improvement. Together these produce the 'blueprints' we so often see: lists of actions all of which must be taken, in a certain order, over a period of time. But in the public sector blueprints usually fail. Mechanisms of "mutual adjustment" usually work better.

School Boards and Teachers Have Choices, Too

In K-12 policy discussions, "choice" usually implies family choice. But school boards and teachers have options, too. Boards can choose to authorize chartered schools, which may be easier than trying to change their existing schools. And, teachers can choose to form teacher professional partnerships in their schools.

Evaluating Chartering: Assessing Separately the Institutional Innovation

In scaling-up the charter 'movement' it's essential to see the distinction between the schools and the strategy of chartering.

New Dimensions of Sponsorship

Since the late 1990s, there’s been growing discussion about the sponsor’s role – in the ongoing oversight as well as in its initial approval. This paper explores whether sponsors might also play an active role in soliciting proposals.

States are Creating a Non-District Sector of Public Education

Essentially with chartering the states are creating a new sector within the framework of public education—different both from the district sector and from private education. This graphic shows the two sectors of public education, as distinguished from private education.

Un-Bundling the School: New Options for the Way Learning is Organized and for the Way People Work

Lots of high-performing ‘organizations’ are arranged as a bundle of contracts rather than in the classic ‘public bureau’ framework. Ted Kolderie explains, with examples, and with a discussion of the implications for schools and for the arrangements in K-12.

North St. Paul District Trims Its Budget

A common concern is that rising costs, not covered either by increases in revenue or by improvements in productivity, lead the districts to reduce the scope or quality of the program available. Here E|E looks at what happened in a district near Saint Paul after its 'budget crisis' appeared in the news.

Facilities Financing: New Models for Districts that are Creating Schools New

Many of the reforms school districts are undertaking involve a significant facilities component. As districts pursue strategies such as opening new schools, breaking up large schools, and renovating buildings, they often incur substantial bricks-and-mortar expenses. This report outlines promising ways to meet their facilities needs.

Nobody’s Success Depends on Whether the Students Learn

Until recently K-12 was built and operated so as to put adult interests first. Student learning was not an imperative. In a talk to the Citizens League in March 1997 Ted Kolderie set out the essentials of public education's system problem—underscored shortly afterward when the first results from the new testing program arrived.

Virtual Education Growing Up: Five Online Schools Already Operating in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin some districts are pulling home-schooled students into online schools set up by the districts.

Sponsoring Chartered Schools: A Planning Tool for Sponsors

Most organizations considering authorizing charter schools do not know what it involves. This tool identifies authorizing duties, and asks whether an organization has the capacity to perform each responsibility, who would perform the responsibility, whether time is available for them to do so, and the estimated cost.

Response to Intervention: An Alternative to Traditional Eligibility Criteria for Students with Disabilities

This report describes and provides a review of the research on a learning model called Response to Intervention (RTI). Under this model, student performance data are gathered frequently and immediately made available to teachers, psychologists and others to evaluate the instruction strategies being used and spur modifications if need be.

How District Leaders Can Support the New Schools Strategy

School districts nationwide are taking steps to proactively create new, better schools as a strategy for education reform. Spurred in part by innovations being introduced by chartered schools, district leaders are beginning to create a “space” in which schools can form new.

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