Blog posts from December 2012

December 31, 2012 · By Dan Loritz

We at Education Evolving try to spend most of our time looking forward. But as this year comes to an end, we want to take a moment to look back on our work in 2012. Below are a few highlights.

Legislation on individualized learning

Earlier this year, the Minnesota legislature passed Education Evolving’s legislation to permit districts to give their schools the authority to individualize learning. On May 1 Governor Mark Dayton signed the education omnibus bill, a provision of which allows...

December 28, 2012 · By Lars Esdal

Education Evolving senior associate Curt Johnson will be among several panelists featured in an important, televised conversation about redesigning education in Minnesota.

The Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) program, Redesigning MN: A Lesson in Change is an eight part series that explores the dramatic impact the looming retirement of more than a million baby boomers will have on Minnesota. Tonight’s 56-minute show will begin at 7pm, and will be focused on education. Curt and other panelists will discuss ways to innovate and improve K-12...

December 12, 2012 · By Ted Kolderie

We sense a growing, spreading, desire to re-think the strategy for education -- both the 'what' of school and the 'how' of change.

We've just released a new paper, which proposes a new and different 'theory of action'.

We do need very different schools, and approaches to learning. But, being practical, we can't vote-in radical change. Rather, we need to arrange for K-12 to change the way successful systems change. Through innovation.

I hope you...

December 9, 2012 · By Ted Kolderie

Through the good efforts of Tim McDonald, an E|E associate now studying at the Kennedy School of Government, I spent November 28-30 in some unexpectedly useful conversations at Harvard.

Tim had arranged sessions about 'public services redesign' with students at the Harvard Kennedy School, at the Graduate School of Education, and with David Ellwood, the dean of the Kennedy School (with whose father, Paul, I'd worked on health-policy questions in Minnesota years back).

Bob Schwartz, now again in the faculty of...

December 6, 2012

Teacher partnerships create innovative learning programs, often rooted in research, for the students they serve. But what is considered "achievement" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) remains the same. If students don't achieve by NCLB's definition, then schools are at risk of closing and teachers are at risk of losing their autonomy, even if the students are achieving by other measures. Teachers explained, "This can hinder our ability—and destroy our incentive to innovate!"

Paul Krafel, naturalist and teacher/founder of Chrysalis Charter School,...

December 3, 2012 · By Joe Graba

Readers of Ember Reichgott Junge’s new book, Zero Chance of Passage, will find something very uplifting (appendix pp. 288-303). It’s a commentary written by Louise Sundin, longtime president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and a co-founder of the Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN), about how the union gradually softened its opinion, and eventually came to view Minnesota chartering laws as an opportunity for teachers to gain the autonomy, authority and responsibility to create truly professional models for teaching.

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December 2, 2012 · By Ted Kolderie

Ted Kolderie reflects on the true meaning of innovation -- and resistance to it -- in a major op-ed published in today's print edition of the Minneapolis StarTribune. Full text below:

Innovation seems to be on everyone's mind these days. It's on Gov. Mark Dayton's. His top staffers are going around with a presentation that talks about "Minnesota: A State of Innovation."

Minnesota is challenged, the presentation says. We need to get the state "working again." Innovation is important for both...