The Education Evolving Blog

October 25, 2010

An article in the New York Times this past week pushed back against the caricature of AFT President Randi Weingarten by Waiting for Superman. There is truth to Weingarten’s sentiment that unions have become a scapegoat. That is why (politically) unions have an incentive to take the offense and get out from under this pile. Say, “We'll accept accountability, but give us control.” That can be a game changer.

October 22, 2010

In this guest post Kari Thierer, National Director of School and Network Support for Big Picture Learning, describes how students in Big Picture students have the opportunity to learn through apprenticeship, and mentorship. She describes the central importance of autonomy for the school to succeed with its non-traditional model, including authority over setting their schedule and determining how students will demonstrate achievement.

October 20, 2010

In this case study of several teacher-led schools in the upper Midwest, Claremont University researcher Charles Taylor Kerchner found some interesting things. The schools use resources differently than traditional district schools. They also have constructed a much different method of teaching. And, they slice up authority and responsibility differently–including assigning a good bit of responsibility for learning to the students.

October 19, 2010

If 'Michelle Rhee' was the answer, what was the question? What if 'strengthening management' is the wrong approach? The goal surely is: quality teachers who put students first. Might there be an easier way?

October 18, 2010

Are urban superintendents warming to innovative uses of technology? To new roles for teachers? In a recent letter to the Washington Post 16 major superintendents indicate yes. But instead of focusing only on teacher tenure, or adding new technologies to existing classrooms, they could also engage in a complete re-imagining what is possible with schools.

October 15, 2010

The Paul Revere Innovation School is the first of two new schools to open this year under a 2009 Massachusetts law that allows districts statewide to create schools with autonomy reflective of the chartering sector. Superintendent Paul Dakin describes the ways that the district, administration, and teachers cooperated to design the school and the importance autonomy played in its character—including extended learning time and alternative assessments.

October 13, 2010

Peter Theil’s grants could provide the inspiration for an innovative high school, modeled after people like Thiel, Zuckerberg, and Gates: Allow for autonomy, accommodate and support entrepreneurialism, and provide an option to start into college courses through online or on-campus courses.

October 11, 2010

As expectations form for teacher-run schools, it is also important to understand that their potential derives from the conditions they create.

October 8, 2010

In this guest post LeAnn Binford, director of operations at Big Thought, argues that exposing under served students to expanded forms of learning improves performance. Autonomy and financial support are necessary for this type of re-working of assessment to function well.

October 6, 2010

Whether it's through art or mentorship, students learn best when they are given the tools to take ownership of their learning.

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