Publications

Meeting Notes · March 2000

The medical director of a big multi-specialty hospital/medical group—in which the doctors are employees—describes how the professional and ‘business’ decisions are divided between physicians and managers. Ted Kolderie’s notes from a conversation with Dr. George Isham.

Meeting Notes · November 1999

Jack Frymier suggests, in a conversation in St. Paul in 1999, perhaps where education is failing is in the relationship between teachers and students. This is where ‘improvement’ has to focus.

· November 1999

A memo to the superintendents of the St. Paul school district regarding the allocation of revenue among buildings. It includes instructions for computing initial general education revenue per-building using tools provided by the Department, and instructions for maintaining separate accounts for each building through UFARS.

Meeting Notes · September 1999

Milwaukee has been the most interesting site for education policy in America, though not for the reason (vouchers) usually cited by the media. Howard Fuller and others-involved tell the story of the struggle since the 1970s.

Memo · April 1999

Three local districts in Minnesota’s metropolitan suburbs share an elementary school didn't build, don’t own and don’t themselves staff. The Valley Crossing school is a kind of virtual organization; a fascinating case in the use of contracts.

Memo · September 1998

Currently, students are held until 12th grade even if they can move faster. The Minnesota Post-secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEO) showed that bright high school students can do well with college-level work. The Grade 11-13 model goes even further, restructuring both high school and the first year of college, un-duplicating the curriculum.

Speech · April 1997

Until recently K-12 was built and operated so as to put adult interests first. Student learning was not an imperative. In a talk to the Citizens League in March 1997 Ted Kolderie set out the essentials of public education's system problem—underscored shortly afterward when the first results from the new testing program arrived.

Article · July 1996

Education policy is dominated by people who themselves did well in school. As a result, they believe conventional school must be OK and that students should adjust to it. Students give a different view. But nobody much listens to them, or thinks the job of educators and policy makers is to adapt school to the students.

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.

Report · February 1993

Lots of high-performing ‘organizations’ are arranged as a bundle of contracts rather than in the classic ‘public bureau’ framework. Ted Kolderie explains, with examples, and with a discussion of the implications for schools and for the arrangements in K-12.

Memo · January 1992

Districts are unable to control their costs, Minnesota superintendents concede. This helps explain a central notion in K-12, that all budget problems are to be solved on the revenue side.

Article · June 1991

A newspaper reporter discovered a letter from the union to the board of education, offering to sacrifice 31 teachers' jobs in order to generate revenue for the salary settlement.

Meeting Notes · May 1991

Albert Shanker said in 1991, before school choice and chartering, “People in other fields dislike change too. But they have to do it. We in education don’t. For us nothing is at stake.” The absence of an internal impetus for change leads us to prescribe "mandates." But why not find what is blocking change inside K-12, and fix that?

Memo · January 1991

In this 1991 retrospective, Albert Shanker looks back over 40 years in the profession. He is realistic about the union's conventional strategy of higher salaries and smaller class size. He looks toward others strategies: differentiated staffing, the individualization of learning through technology, project-based learning, and performance-based assessment.

Meeting Notes · December 1990

Over 25 years ago a ‘discontented teacher’ who became superintendent gave Edmonton, Canada what might be the most-decentralized arrangement in North America. But Edmonton is different than American cities, and Mike Strembitsky's model does not transplant easily.

Memo · July 1990

Written as Minnesota was in the early stages of thinking about what would a year later become the first chartering law, this paper zeroed in on "the exclusive franchise" as the heart of the K-12 system-problem. No change, no major improvement in learning, was realistically possible, Kolderie said, until the states withdrew the guarantee of success—for the districts and for the people in them—created by the public-utility arrangement traditional in public 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.

Memo · December 1987

Teachers, principals, superintendents, union leaders listen to an executive describe how a department store is a combination of ‘owned’ and ‘leased’ departments. Ted Kolderie shares his notes from the discussion. “We could organize a high school like this!”

Meeting Notes · June 1986

In health care, as in education, there is pressure to increase revenue. In K-12 this results from a need to improve quality; in health care, from a need to expand access. Like clinics and hospitals, K-12 districts seeking additional revenue like to say "my cases are tougher." Walt McClure describes techniques for measuring quality that show major differences in effectiveness among the 'producers'.

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