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.

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.

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.

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.

Memo · January 2002

A case for why American public education needs an "open sector" and seven essential elements of such a sector.

Memo · January 2002

A quick summary of the major mileposts in the evolution of the chartering laws.

Memo · January 2001

Institutions other than public education have found it useful not to let the mission depend on just a single organization. Historically the Catholic Church has been one of these. There is the hierarchy, but there are also the orders.

Memo · January 2001

In response to the Washington Post’s question about problems in DC this small memo asked: If the local school district is not performing why don’t DC residents ask Congress to “get somebody else who will?” In 1993 the suggestion was flatly dismissed. Three years later Congress created a second 'board of education' for DC.

Memo · June 1994

A quick summary of the essentials of the charter idea, written in 1994, is still basically applicable today.

Memo · August 1993

The (then) executive director Colorado School Boards Association Randy Quinn wondered, after the chartering law passed over its opposition, whether this new idea might not really be “a blessing in disguise” for boards of education.

Memo · January 1988

In 1987 the Chicago Teacher's Union struck for the ninth consecutive time. Joe Loftus proposed a reform idea, but it did not pass. In 1993 he called Minnesota. "What's this 'charter schools' I'm hearing about?", he asked. "I proposed that in 1988." Here are the key pages of Joe's proposal, an interesting case of parallel invention.

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