Publications

Meeting Notes · May 2002

Interview notes from conversations with students at a conference of leaders from Minnesota alternative schools. Students were asked why they attend alternative learning programs, what they like about their programs, and what mainstream school could have done to better serve their needs.

Meeting Notes · November 2001

Clayton Christensen explains how hard it is for existing organizations to change in more than incremental ways, and why significant change requires the creation of new organizations. His research has huge implications for a K-12 strategy that relies on the notion that it will be possible to improve the schools we have.

Meeting Notes · October 2001

Visitors look at a chartered school in Minnesota that has no employees, as well as no courses and no classes. Notes of the discussion at a national meeting at Hamline University in September 2001.

Meeting Notes · October 2001

Jack Frymier sums up a lifetime of experience in teaching: If students want to learn they will. If they don't, you probably can't make 'em. Motivation is individual. Education is failing in the relationship between teachers and students. Motivating students is a teachable skill: It just isn't very often taught where teachers are trained.

Meeting Notes · January 2001

Notes from a workshop on school-based management. Ron Hubbs, former chairman and CEO of a major insurance company, tries to explain to superintendents why it really is better to let people closer to the working-level make most of the decisions. There's an astonishing response from one superintendent present.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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