Publications

Memo · October 2017

A 2017 law allows districts and charter schools in Minnesota to form an innovation zone in order to try new approaches to learning that will raise student acheivement. The law provides flexibility from state law and rule to try those innovations.

Report · October 2017

A comprehensive review of barriers in Minnesota state policy faced by educators innovating with student-centered learning, and recommendations for removing those barriers.

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.

Article · April 2016

"Innovation Zones" will change the way we teach, test and measure learning. A Commentary for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Speech · November 2015

The Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs invited Ted Kolderie to discuss how innovation is key to systemic change in public education and how schools must resist 'the pressure for sameness'. Kolderie called upon the 'alternative' sector to share its accomplishments in innovation—thus validating the sector and making clear that what is happening there is essential for change and improvement in the mainline district sector. This is his speech.

Book · September 2015

For three decades now, the course of action has been to accept the system as it stands and to push its schools and teachers to deliver ‘better performance’. Perhaps not surprisingly, that effort to get an inert system to do-better has not proved an outstanding success. The theory of action should instead be to turn public education into a self-improving system.

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.

Article · April 2015

A big district like Minneapolis has dozens of schools, and all of them could be innovating. That is, in fact, the strategic plan. But the big brain — the central office — gets in the way. How might the state usefully intervene? A Sunday Commentary for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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.

Memo · December 2011

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.

Speech · August 2010

E|E's Ted Kolderie explains why sound policy requires true innovation, followed by “continuous improvement”. The two must exist together; we may not be able to afford a 'monoculture' in education policy.

Article · January 2010

The total cost of the education system is rising at about 5 to 8 percent per year. If schools are not at the same time increasing "performance" or "productivity," their real cost to the public is increasing. This relationship is not sustainable. To reconcile this problem, schools will need to be designed differently.

Article · July 2009

This paper explains the 'how' of achieving greater innovation with Information Technologies in schools. The problem is one of structure, and requires both a redesign of schools and of the system. Recommendations are made for states and the federal government.

Memo · June 2009

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."

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.

Memo · March 2008

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.

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.

Memo · December 2007

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.

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 · 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.

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