Publications

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.

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.

Article · September 2014

A back page Education Week commentary from September 2014 in which Ted Kolderie asks: why don't we get education changing the way successful systems change?

Article · August 2014

To get innovation in K-12 we need to free those closest to the action—the teachers—to innovate and meet the needs of their students. Ted Kolderie draws lessons from World War 2 to make this argument, in a commentary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Meeting Notes · November 2013

"The Futures of School Reform" is a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, coordinated by Jal Mehta. In October 2013, E|E invited Mehta to Minnesota to talk about the five alternative futures. Here are notes on the project from E|E's Ted Kolderie, and on what he thought was most significant for the education policy discussion in Minnesota.

Video · November 2012

A Minnesota teacher took initiative to reimagine what "school" could be. His students seem engaged, and are performing highly. But can his innovation spread in our current education system? Will it even survive?

Meeting Notes · August 2012

Detailed notes on the Finnish schools and education system, from Ted Kolderie's visit to Finland August 20-24, 2012. Ted was part of an American delegation assembled by the National Public Education Support Fund. The meetings were arranged locally by Pasi Sahlberg from CIMO.

Meeting Notes · July 2012

Pasi Sahlberg had a day of conversations with Minnesotans on July 19, 2012 about the schools in Finland. An official in the Ministry of Education and Culture in Helsinki, Sahlberg is probably the person most involved with explaining to countries around the world about the education system that Finland developed beginning about 1970.

Article · November 2011

The key question of education innovation is whether schools and teachers will be free to adapt to the needs, aptitudes, interests, and motivations of their students. Ted Kolderie in Education Week, November 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.

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.

Memo · January 2009

The country has the governmental relationships upside down, with the states setting the targets for results and Washington leaning on the states, districts and schools to make it happen. President Obama should put the roles right, so that the national government is "pushing buttons that are connected to live wires".

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.

Meeting Notes · March 2008

Notes from remarks by Paul Grogan, head in 20008 of the Boston Foundation, on the challenges of inner-city public education, and how foundations can leverage change. Early, Grogan worked for two mayors of Boston. He ran the national office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in New York.

Article · March 2008

A commentary submitted to Education Week, March 12th 2008, summarizing EE's paper "The Other Half of the Strategy: Following Up on System Reform by Innovating with School and Schooling".

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 · June 2007

Marshall (Mike) Smith argues, based on evidence, that it's too early for Congress to proceed with reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind program. Smith, a senior official in the Clinton administration's U.S. Department of Education, was a key author of the strategy of standards-based systemic reform. Written Spring, 2007.

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.

Video · July 2005

Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor, speaks on "Disruptive Innovation" in education, at the ECS conference in 2005.

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