Follow Us: BlogTwitterFacebook

All Content

A Model RFP: Second Generation Evaluations of Chartered Schools and Chartering

Traditional "charter" evaluation is focusing on the wrong questions. To know "what's working" researchers must focus on the institutional innovation of chartering rather than trying to generalize about the very diverse collection of schools. This RFP is designed to elicit recommendations on ways to strengthen chartered schools and to improve the state's overall policy framework for chartering.

If Kids Don't Want to Learn, You Probably Can't Make 'Em

Jack Frymier sums up a lifetime of experience in teaching: If students want to learn they will. If they don't, you probably can't make 'em. Motivation is individual. Education is failing in the relationship between teachers and students. Motivating students is a teachable skill: It just isn't very often taught where teachers are trained.

Old Schools, New Challenges: Technology Can Improve Education, Save Money

While computer and Internet usage amongst youth has skyrocketed in recent years, the use of technology in schools lags behind. Technology has the capability to address issues of poor student achievement by offering each student a more individualized approach to learning, contributing to a more equal public education system.

Who Should Adapt: Students to School or School to Students?

Education policy is dominated by people who themselves did well in school. As a result, they believe conventional school must be OK and that students should adjust to it. Students give a different view. But nobody much listens to them, or thinks the job of educators and policy makers is to adapt school to the students.

Allocation of General Education Revenue Among Buildings Memorandum

A memo to the superintendents of the St. Paul school district regarding the allocation of revenue among buildings. It includes instructions for computing initial general education revenue per-building using tools provided by the Department, and instructions for maintaining separate accounts for each building through UFARS.

Is it Time to Reconsider the Notion of 'Adolescence'?

Not too long ago, one former state commissioner says, our high schools were filled with children. Today they are filled with young people who are essentially adults—being treated still as children. Is it time now to move young people more into adult roles by age 16. If we did, what would that suggest for K-12?

Will More Money Alone Produce Better Results?

Many American tax payers seem willing to raise their taxes to further fund public education. While lack of funding is often viewed as being at the root of our failing education system, raises in per-pupil spending have shown to be less influential than we'd like to believe. Might there be another answer to fixing schools?

Windows on the Next Generation of Charter Schools and Chartering

A look at the next generation of chartered schools and the environment in which they live. We will need to diversify charter authorizers, document the progress of existing chartered schools, find ways to finance facilities and transportation, and find new ways to organize extra-curricular activities.

A Viable High School in a Small Rural District

Nontraditional forms of school do exist that are economically and educationally viable at the scale of 120 students. This has huge implications for rural America's sparsely-settled areas. The trick is to think differently about teaching and learning. An article in the magazine of the superintendents' association in Minnesota.

Is Chartering, as a Strategy, Succeeding?

It's time to bury the term 'charter schools' and to talk separately about chartering—the state strategy of new-school-creation—and the schools created via chartering. Chartering is succeeding even though not all the schools-chartered are succeeding. Article appeared in the December 2005 issue of UrbanEd.

Origins of the Charter Idea

A quick summary of the major mileposts in the evolution of the chartering laws. 2002.

Teachers Propose Eliminating 31 Jobs to Improve Their Pay in Forest Lake

A newspaper reporter discovered a letter from the union to the board of education, offering to sacrifice 31 teachers' jobs in order to generate revenue for the salary settlement.

Charter Schools: Now What?

The (then) executive director Colorado School Boards Association Randy Quinn wondered, after the chartering law passed over its opposition, whether this new idea might not really be “a blessing in disguise” for boards of education.

It’s a Revenue Game

Districts are unable to control their costs, Minnesota superintendents concede. This helps explain a central notion in K-12, that all budget problems are to be solved on the revenue side.

Clayton Christensen: Why Organizations Find Major Change So Difficult

Clayton Christensen explains how hard it is for existing organizations to change in more than incremental ways, and why significant change requires the creation of new organizations. His research has huge implications for a K-12 strategy that relies on the notion that it will be possible to improve the schools we have.

Chartering is Both an Innovation and a Framework for Innovation

Chartering was an institutional innovation: the states broke up the public-utility model of K-12. But charter laws do not prescribe some fixed kind of school. They open the potential to create a wide variety of schools. Chartering is essentially an R&D sector for K-12. Research should pay more attention to single cases, individual innovations.

The Case for Decentralized Management

Notes from a workshop on school-based management. Ron Hubbs, former chairman and CEO of a major insurance company, tries to explain to superintendents why it really is better to let people closer to the working-level make most of the decisions. There's an astonishing response from one superintendent present.

Chartering Is Succeeding, Even as Some Chartered Schools Fail

Usually when you hear about 'charter schools' people are talking about the schools themselves. But 'charter schools' also means the strategy of chartering, the state's creation of an 'open sector' in public education. This is less visible. But the state's opening-up of K-12 is more important than the schools.

Professionals and Administrators: Two Models of Organization

Notes from an evening with a group of teachers, and the partners in a law firm and a medical clinic. The discussion about the relationship of professionals and administrators, in law and medicine, compared to the relationship of teachers and principal in a typical school, is fascinating especially with regards to authority and pay.

Pages