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innovation

A big district like Minneapolis has dozens of schools, and all of them could be innovating. That is, in fact, the strategic plan. But the big brain — the central office — gets in the way. How might the state usefully intervene? (A Sunday Commentary for the Star Tribune April 2015.)

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.

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.

Let education change as other systems change. That is: For new models of school to appear and to run alongside the traditional. Ted Kolderie lays out the concept of a 'split screen' in this 2010 strategy paper.

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.

This paper explains the 'how' of achieving greater innovation with Information Technologies in schools. The problem is one of structure, and requires both a redesign of schools and of the system. Recommendations are made for states and the federal government.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.