Having good definitions of the terms "student achievement" and "school quality" is important in our nation's quest to improve public education. But the two terms are often defined too simply, too narrowly, too controversially. This working memo puts forth our own deeper and broader definitions of these two important terms.
Public education now has two sectors: a district sector and a chartered sector. Chartering—and this two-sector arrangement in general—needs to be thought of as a strategy for change, not just a set of schools. Given flexibility, the chartered sector can and does generate the needed innovation, the necessary improvements in learning.
A description of areas of autonomy, assembled while consulting literature and visiting schools during the writing of the book Trusting Teachers with School Success. And, examples of how schools have used those autonomies.
In November, 2014 the U.S. Department of Education proposed a set of priorities, requirements, and criteria for the federal charter grants to state education agencies. Here is the response of three senior E|E associates, to that proposal.
In 2010 and 2011 Education Evolving studied the policy frameworks being used in large cities around the country to encourage innovation in school. Here is a summary of those district and state policy frameworks, as of 2011.
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."
The country has the governmental relationships upside down, with the states setting the targets for results and Washington leaning on the states, districts and schools to make it happen. President Obama should put the roles right, so that the national government is "pushing buttons that are connected to live wires".
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.
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.
Marshall (Mike) Smith argues, based on evidence, that it's too early for Congress to proceed with reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind program. Smith, a senior official in the Clinton administration's U.S. Department of Education, was a key author of the strategy of standards-based systemic reform. Written Spring, 2007.
With the growing concern about rising expenditures—whether it will ever be possible for revenues to keep up; whether, if not, any concept of productivity can be developed—it seemed a good idea to think out the elements of such a discussion. This is Ted Kolderie's first effort to do that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.