Academic Competitions: A Learning Experience Outside School
Memo • February 2006
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.
District-Initiated Chartered Schools: New Opportunities for District Boards and Teachers
Memo • February 2005
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.
Listening to Student Voices: Students at Avalon High on School Design
Memo • July 2005
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.
The professional-partnership model is a conceivable model, for organizing school and teaching
Memo • January 2005
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.
Chartering Is Succeeding, Even as Some Chartered Schools Fail
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.
Ray Budde and the Origins of the ‘Charter Concept’
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.
Students Inform Legislators: What’s Important to Understand About Chartered Schools and Student Motivation
Memo • May 2005
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.
The Emergence of an ‘Open Sector’ in Urban Education
Memo • January 2005
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.
Trend Accelerating Toward an ‘Open Sector’ in Public Education
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.