Publications

Memo · February 2006

What do students' out-of-school learning experiences tell us about how we could design in-school learning models and education policy? Academic competitions are a largely-unexplored aspect of student learning. Such competitions deserve additional attention from researchers, educators, and policy leaders.

Article · January 2006

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.

Article · December 2005

It's time to bury the term 'charter schools' and to talk separately about chartering—the state strategy of new-school-creation—and the schools created via chartering. Chartering is succeeding even though not all the schools-chartered are succeeding. Article appeared in the December 2005 issue of UrbanEd.

Report · December 2005

A summary of available literature reporting student attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors regarding digital technology, particularly for learning. Describes our nation's increasingly tech-savvy students, the ways in which they use technology, and their frustrations with our text-dominated schools. Students suggest how education policy and school designers could better meet their needs.

Video · July 2005

Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor, speaks on "Disruptive Innovation" in education, at the ECS conference in 2005.

Report · July 2005

This report describes and provides a review of the research on a learning model called Response to Intervention (RTI). Under this model, student performance data are gathered frequently and immediately made available to teachers, psychologists and others to evaluate the instruction strategies being used and spur modifications if need be.

Memo · July 2005

Much might be learned about effective school design if researchers were to listen to what students say. In this report, student researchers at Avalon High School in Saint Paul challenge adults to allow consumer input to be a driver in efforts to increase students' motivation to attend, to learn and to graduate.

Memo · June 2005

In 1988, Albert Shanker began to float the idea of "letting teachers start schools within schools." But, he acknowledged he picked up the term "charter" from Ray Budde, from a paper titled "Education by Charter". Ted Kolderie recounts Budde's reaction to chartering, with lessons for today’s policy leaders on the virtues of diligence, patience, deference and humility.

Memo · May 2005

At the Charter School Student Summit held in St. Paul in December 2004, students discussed the growth and challenges facing the charter movement. Students discussed their own experiences and exchanged ideas for improvement of the sector, and were asked to inform legislators about chartered schools and what motivates them to learn.

Report · February 2005

Chartering cannot work without quality sponsoring/authorizing. Quality sponsoring requires good systems, competent people and time. That means: money. We studied what it cost three Minnesota sponsors to review applications, develop contracts and oversee schools, over a three-year period.

Memo · February 2005

Some districts see chartering as a part of their strategy for change and improvement. Here we review three Minnesota districts that authorize chartered schools: Faribault, Hopkins and Waseca. The 'common market' approach of pooling courses, facilities, programs and transportation of district, chartered, private and home schooling in Faribault is particularly striking.

Memo · January 2005

Usually when you hear about 'charter schools' people are talking about the schools themselves. But 'charter schools' also means the strategy of chartering, the state's creation of an 'open sector' in public education. This is less visible. But the state's opening-up of K-12 is more important than the schools.

Report · January 2005

In policy debate the discussion about money is often about ‘how much?’ The conclusion is almost always: ‘Not enough!’ This report looks inside schools and districts at differences in how money is actually spent. It suggests that the size of school and district, the governance arrangement and the degree to which teachers are involved in decision-making influence the allocation of revenue to instruction.

Memo · January 2005

In thinking about teachers and teaching, for example, it might be well to be cautious about assuming the traditional role of teacher-as-employee. Forever, true, the teacher has been an employee. In private education as in public education, the rule was absolute: If you wanted to be a teacher you had to be an employee. Early signs now suggest this might be changing.

Memo · January 2005

The "Open Sector" is a reality, as new public schools appear outside the traditional district framework. In a few places districts themselves are proactively creating new independent public schools—in competition with the schools they own and directly run. This policy brief rounds up "Open Sector" activity in 17 major urban communities across the country.

Memo · December 2004

At the Charter School Student Summit held in St. Paul in December 2004, students discussed, in small groups, their experiences attending Minnesota chartered schools. This document summarizes their discussions.

Memo · November 2004

A policy brief providing an update on the current status of chartered schools and charter-ing in Minnesota. Includes the latest statistics on the charters that are operating in the 2004-2005 school year, information on the most recent round of charter approvals, an update on Minnesota’s growing cadre of sponsors and more.

Book · August 2004

Ted Kolderie's book expands the 'theory of action' for state policy leadership. It explains why governors' and legislatures' efforts to open a new-schools sector is imperative for public education, to enable it to do the job it has now been given to do.

Speech · May 2004

While almost everyone wants schools to be better, almost nobody wants them to be different. And, we overestimate the ability of leadership to change organizations in more than incremental ways. The internal culture heavily constrains change. A speech by Joe Graba at a national meeting of foundations.

Speech · May 2004

A look at the next generation of chartered schools and the environment in which they live. We will need to diversify charter authorizers, document the progress of existing chartered schools, find ways to finance facilities and transportation, and find new ways to organize extra-curricular activities.

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