Publications

Report · August 2015

Much of the discussion about 'what's working' suggests that students learn because the school is district, charter, parochial or whatever. This is bizarre. Clearly, students learn from what goes on in the school; from its curriculum, pedagogy, materials and teachers. This report begins to sketch a taxonomy that gets at these more meaningful school properties.

Report · June 2012

An analysis of two innovative chartered schools in Minnesota, including a financial analysis which shows this innovation is possible at a net cost well below district schools of similar demographics. By Charles Kyte, a former superintendent and executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

Report · February 2011

Digital' carries the potential to improve learning. But, potential alone won't sell district management on bringing it into schools. New technologies are most likely to be adopted when decisions are made at the school, when schools are given autonomy.

Report · October 2010

A case study of Avalon School and several other teacher-led schools in the Midwest. These schools use resources differently than traditional district schools, use a different praxis of teaching, and divide authority and responsibility differently—including assigning responsibility for learning to the students.

Report · April 2010

Policymakers, in revising ESEA, should think of strategy as a "split screen". The only realistic approach is to pursue our differing goals at the same time. K-12 education must improve both its performance and its economics. It must work concurrently for equity and for excellence. It must improve traditional school while encouraging innovation beyond traditional school.

Report · August 2008

Modern technologies, if applied properly, can personalize the process of learning without increasing labor costs. Before this can happen educators must understand there are distinct ways that technologies can be applied. "Type I" applications use technology to make traditional teaching more efficient; "Type II" makes possible teaching and learning in new and fundamentally different ways -- allowing for personalization.

Report · July 2008

The assignment to K-12 has changed from "access" to "achievement." Unfortunately, our schools were built to provide students the opportunity to learn, not to ensure that they did. If we insist that our schools do this different job we will have to create new school models that make that possible.

Report · February 2008

System-level reforms like standards, accountability, choice and chartering make it more necessary for schools to succeed with learning. But these reforms do not by themselves affect achievement. Kids learn from what they read, see, hear and do. So success in the effort at improvement requires capitalizing now on the system-level changes with a major effort to create new forms of school.

Report · October 2007

Chartering is hailed as providing a space for innovation in public education. However, research and reporting on chartered schools usually focus on test scores and student demographics, and not on the innovations taking place. This report outlines some of the innovations appearing in Minnesota chartered schools.

Report · April 2007

This report examines the experiences of youth who quit school or were on the path to quitting. It describes their human, and democratic, desire to choose whether or not they will learn. It finds that once engaged students learn better and that different things motivate different students; no one factor is motivating for all students.

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