Publications

Report · October 2018

A review of the outcomes that researchers and communities identify as important for student success and an overview of the possible strategies for measuring them. And, a cohesive vision and specific next steps for states, learning communities, and students and families wanting to move toward more student-centered outcomes.

Report · January 2018

The design of America’s schools needs to shift from adult-centered and standardized to student-centered and individualized. This report examines the academic and historical research that supports the need for the transition to student-centered learning.

Report · November 2017

In its first twenty-five years, the charter option has spawned a vibrant and growing second sector of public education in Minnesota and around the country. This report takes stock of the sector, and looks at innovations across Minnesota's chartering landscape.

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.

Report · October 2015

Teaching is the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes. And a central part of the strategy for improving teaching involves better teacher preparation. With this report, we present our own contribution to that effort: we highlight essential elements and best practices for a new, different, and we believe better, teacher preparation program.

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.

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.

Report · February 2011

Digital' carries the potential to improve learning. But, potential alone won't sell district management on bringing it into schools. New technologies are most likely to be adopted when decisions are made at the school, when schools are given autonomy.

Report · October 2010

A case study of Avalon School and several other teacher-led schools in the Midwest. These schools use resources differently than traditional district schools, use a different praxis of teaching, and divide authority and responsibility differently—including assigning responsibility for learning to the students.

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.

Report · August 2008

Modern technologies, if applied properly, can personalize the process of learning without increasing labor costs. Before this can happen educators must understand there are distinct ways that technologies can be applied. "Type I" applications use technology to make traditional teaching more efficient; "Type II" makes possible teaching and learning in new and fundamentally different ways -- allowing for personalization.

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.

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.

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.

Report · April 2007

This report examines the experiences of youth who quit school or were on the path to quitting. It describes their human, and democratic, desire to choose whether or not they will learn. It finds that once engaged students learn better and that different things motivate different students; no one factor is motivating for all students.

Report · December 2006

This guide and self-evaluation rubric is intended to identify the indicators for quality charter school sponsoring in Minnesota, specify the criteria that defines each indicator, identify the incentives for why a sponsor would want to meet the quality sponsoring indicators, and develop a process by which sponsors can ascertain whether they are meeting these quality indicators.

Report · August 2006

This 2006 inventory of existing and developing teacher professional partnerships (TPPs) documents growing interest in a professional model of teaching. The inventory describes several teacher professional partnership models, offering a useful overview of the many ways in which teacher partnerships are organizing and functioning.

Report · December 2005

A summary of available literature reporting student attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors regarding digital technology, particularly for learning. Describes our nation's increasingly tech-savvy students, the ways in which they use technology, and their frustrations with our text-dominated schools. Students suggest how education policy and school designers could better meet their needs.

Report · July 2005

This report describes and provides a review of the research on a learning model called Response to Intervention (RTI). Under this model, student performance data are gathered frequently and immediately made available to teachers, psychologists and others to evaluate the instruction strategies being used and spur modifications if need be.

Report · February 2005

Chartering cannot work without quality sponsoring/authorizing. Quality sponsoring requires good systems, competent people and time. That means: money. We studied what it cost three Minnesota sponsors to review applications, develop contracts and oversee schools, over a three-year period.

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