Publications

Memo · June 2017

What most people call 'charter schools' is in fact system change. With a new, second, charter sector, public education can be a self-improving system. Success for the district sector might depend on its picking up innovations from the charter sector. Ted Kolderie explains.

Article · September 2016

Where exactly does chartering fit, in the strategy for public education? Across America that question is rising, as in a number of big cities the charter sector gets larger and as the local districts are losing enrollment. In this commentary in the StarTribune, Ted Kolderie looks at four current answers to the question—and suggests a fifth, more practical answer.

Memo · March 2016

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.

Memo · January 2015

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.

Meeting Notes · November 2013

For close to two decades, Eric Premack has been working in California education policy. He formed and now runs the Charter School Development Center in Sacramento. In November 2013, E|E invited Premack to Minnesota to talk about education policy, chartering in California and the state’s decision to stop trying to control and regulate its school districts so tightly. Here are notes on Premack’s visit from E|E's Ted Kolderie.

Speech · February 2013

Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, invited Ted Kolderie to discuss "The Role of Innovation in the Charter Movement" with the heads of state charter associations and resource centers. These are his remarks; edited to include some of the points made in the hour-long discussion that followed.

Web Resource · September 2010

Albert Shanker and Ray Budde had the 'charter' idea early. Minnesota got it into law; seeing 'charter' not as a kind of school but as a platform for developing different schools. Use this timeline to learn more about the progress of the chartering idea.

Article · June 2008

This short memo explains the origins of the chartering idea. In the spring of 1988, a Citizens League committee began developing a program for chartering schools. Twenty years later that idea has become law in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

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.

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.

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 · 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.

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.

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.

Report · April 2004

Traditional "charter" evaluation is focusing on the wrong questions. To know "what's working" researchers must focus on the institutional innovation of chartering rather than trying to generalize about the very diverse collection of schools. This RFP is designed to elicit recommendations on ways to strengthen chartered schools and to improve the state's overall policy framework for chartering.

Report · February 2004

A guide for charter school authorizing, from the decision to authorize through contract development. It covers how to assist and oversee the school, and clarifies the relationship to and duties of the state department of education, the sponsor and the board of the chartered school. It also explains the 'Sponsor-Initiated School,' whereby an authorizer actively solicits new school proposals.

Report · October 2003

In scaling-up the charter 'movement' it's essential to see the distinction between the schools and the strategy of chartering.

Memo · April 2003

Since the late 1990s, there’s been growing discussion about the sponsor’s role – in the ongoing oversight as well as in its initial approval. This paper explores whether sponsors might also play an active role in soliciting proposals.

Speech · April 2003

Chartering was an institutional innovation: the states broke up the public-utility model of K-12. But charter laws do not prescribe some fixed kind of school. They open the potential to create a wide variety of schools. Chartering is essentially an R&D sector for K-12. Research should pay more attention to single cases, individual innovations.

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