The Education Evolving Blog

December 4, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

» Download full Premack visit notes

Almost unheard of, in all the talk about the more conspicuous issues in K-12 education today, is California's decision to stop trying to control and regulate its school districts so tightly.

For 40 years or more California has tried to run public education out of Sacramento. The state selects the textbooks; approves the districts construction plans; tells the districts what to do and how to do it. The education code, the education statutes, fill...

December 1, 2013 · By Lars Esdal

Innovative Quality Schools, a Minnesota charter school authorizer, has again this year issued a Request for Proposals to start new chartered schools in Minnesota.

Highest priority will be given to proposals which (a) propose new and innovative models of school and schooling; or (b) draw from a demonstrated research base. IQS recognizes the need to both try new things, and to replicate what's been shown to work.

IQS provides an interesting example of a...

November 10, 2013 · By Curtis Johnson

Education Evolving invites you to a discussion with a leading national actor and analyst on education policy. Eric Premack, a Minneapolis native, will be here November 21 at 3 pm in the North Klas room at the Anderson Center on the Hamline University campus.

California is the largest state in the nation. What happens there is often a harbinger for what will likely spread further. Premack has lived and worked there for more than 20 years; he runs one of the largest charter school development organizations in the country. He’s become a trusted adviser to the state board and the...

November 7, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

» Download full Mehta visit notes

The growing desire to 'do something' about education is paralleled by a growing uncertainty about what exactly to do. A project organized by the Harvard Graduate School of Education concluded: "If we keep doing what we're doing, we're never going to get there". It concluded that the basic K-12 system will have to be changed in some fundamental way.

Jal Mehta at HGSE wrote the book setting out its five possible 'futures for school reform...

October 14, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

It's time to start reconsidering the old institution of 'adolescence'.

Have a look at this Commentary that ran in the StarTribune in Minnesota, October 13, 2013. It was intended to provoke a discussion about that curious, and particularly American, notion: the "artificial prolongation of childhood past puberty".

That was done, 100 years ago, with good intentions; in the interest of 'child welfare'. But the question today is whether adolescence has now become harmful -- to young people...

August 30, 2013 · By Jon Schroeder

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan raised eyebrows August 6th when he agreed to grant waivers to eight California school districts on the most controversial accountability provisions in the federal “No Child Left Behind” law. The districts – including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento – serve more than one million students or about 20 percent of California’s overall K-12 student population.

The Obama Administration’s decision to grant waivers directly to school districts has been both criticized and downplayed in importance by California state officials, including...

June 24, 2013

Have you ever wanted to see, hear, and feel what happens inside a school where teachers call the shots? Now, thanks to filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens, you can experience A Year at Mission Hill as a 10-chapter series of 5-7 minute videos. They are soon releasing a full-length film, Good Morning Mission Hill: The Freedom to Teach.

Mission Hill K-8, a Boston Public School, is a pilot...

June 17, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

This Commentary, in the StarTribune June 9 has now been circulated pretty widely around the country. It's drawn a good deal of favorable response. Clearly it has also distressed some people.

Raising uncomfortable questions does upset people. When action seems urgent, when people think they see the problem and think the goal is clear, they do get impatient with those who call the conventional wisdom into question.

But good decisions come only out of full discussion. Especially in a time of rapid...

June 14, 2013 · By Ted Kolderie

In this Commentary in the StarTribune on June 9th I said we are not having a very intelligent discussion about 'closing the achievement gap'.

I ask what seem to me to be relevant -- practical, and important -- questions. Among them:

  • Is is sensible to use a one-dimensional definition of achievement? Is it fair? The late Jack Frymier used to say it is quite unfair for adults not themselves at risk to be imposing failure on young people just getting started in life.
  • So far as proficiency...
May 24, 2013 · By Lars Esdal

"Why does our whole discussion about improving learning go on with no one questioning the old institution of adolescence?"

These were Ted Kolderie's opening words in a TED talk at the New Schools Venture Fund 'summit' May 1 in San Francisco. The session topic was: "It's time to give up on _______ and replace it with ______". In the three-minute video below he explains why we should give up on adolescence and replace it with 'adultness'.

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