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innovation

We Cannot Get the Schools We Need by Changing the Schools We Have

We overestimate the ability of leadership to change organizations in more than incremental ways, Joe Graba told a national meeting of foundations in April 2004. The internal culture heavily constrains change. Most change comes through the creation of new organizations.

Innovation as the Practical Strategy for Change

Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, invited Ted Kolderie to discuss "The Role of Innovation in the Charter Movement" with the heads of state charter associations and resource centers. These are his remarks; edited to include some of the points made in the hour-long discussion that followed.

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.

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.

Creating New Schools: Promising Strategy for Change?

While almost everyone wants schools to be better, almost nobody wants them to be different. Yet becoming better usually involves changing the service or product. Think about improving travel, communication, computing. Systems need to be open to new models, to innovation. Now, with the states opening K-12 to new schools, innovation becomes increasingly possible.

Mike Smith: The Need for Innovation in the National Strategy

In a commentary included in Education Week's 15-year retrospective on standards-based systemic reform, one of the authors of that strategy noted: It made no place for innovation. Mike Smith affirms the need for an element of innovation, and looked to the charter sector to provide that.

The Other Half of the Strategy: Following Up on System Reform by Innovating with Schooling

System-level reforms like standards, accountability, choice and chartering make it more necessary for schools to succeed with learning. But these reforms do not by themselves affect achievement. Kids learn from what they read, see, hear and do. So success in the effort at improvement requires capitalizing now on the system-level changes with a major effort to create new forms of school.

What Is Innovation... and What Isn't?

The discussion about "innovation" in K-12 education is coming on rapidly, as the sense grows that K-12 requires radical change. But there is confusion about concepts and terms. Partly, this is because we are all still learning. This brief paper will try to distinguish the various meanings of "innovation."

Shifting From "What We Spend" to "How We Spend It"

The total cost of the education system is rising at about 5 to 8 percent per year. If schools are not at the same time increasing "performance" or "productivity," their real cost to the public is increasing. This relationship is not sustainable. To reconcile this problem, schools will need to be designed differently.

Realizing Deeper Learning: The Economics and Achievements of an Innovative Chartered School Model

An analysis of two innovative chartered schools in Minnesota, including a financial analysis which shows this innovation is possible at a net cost well below district schools of similar demographics. By Charles Kyte, a former superintendent and executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

Education, Microsoft, and the Individual Entrepreneur

This article discusses the role of large corporations such as Microsoft in partnering with independent entrepreneurs in the classroom. Entrepreneur Bob Bilyk, has created an application LodeStar that, with the aid of Microsoft's Class Server, enables teachers to more effectively customize learning materials to meet students' individual needs.

An Explosion of Pedagogical Agents

The charge to K-12 has shifted from "access" to "achievement." To meet this challenge, education should be open to new entrants, new authorizers of schools, and new learning programs. This paper argues for teacher-led and other innovations to better serve student needs.

Of Innovators and School Improvement

The assignment to K-12 has changed from "access" to "achievement." Unfortunately, our schools were built to provide students the opportunity to learn, not to ensure that they did. If we insist that our schools do this different job we will have to create new school models that make that possible.

Podcast: Curtis Johnson and Michael Horn on ‘Disrupting Class’ and Higher Education

Podcast on the concept of disruptive innovation, and its application to US compulsory education. The second half considers Higher Education through the lens of disruptive innovation, and explains how radical developments such as iTunesU and OpenCourseWare may not be as disruptive as they first appear.

Positive School Culture: Students Help Answer the Question, ‘How are Minnesota Chartered Schools Doing?’

This report describes ten of the most unconventional chartered schools in Minnesota. Feedback from students who attended the schools make clear that many families who choose such schools are seeking a positive school culture. To these families, a school's success is measured by more than its average test scores.

Stunning Advances in Digital Electronics

Rapidly in recent years the cost of information technology has been falling while the storage-capacity and the speed-of-processing have been rising. The numbers, the rate of improvement, are just astonishing. Yet the conventional approach to improving schooling scarcely looks this direction. It is time now to capture this potential.

Minnesota's Charter Law is Providing Significant Innovations in School and Schooling

Chartering is hailed as providing a space for innovation in public education. However, research and reporting on chartered schools usually focus on test scores and student demographics, and not on the innovations taking place. This report outlines some of the innovations appearing in Minnesota chartered schools.