February 19, 2018
Summer vacation may still be months away, but school leaders across the country are already gearing up to hire teachers for the next school year. Many will find themselves in the same predicament they’ve faced for years: scrambling until the last minute to fill open positions, especially in crucial subjects like math, science, and special education.
It’s a story sadly familiar to anyone who follows education news, but one that’s usually associated with traditional school districts. Yet public charter schools struggle with teacher hiring and retention every bit as much as district schools, often for very preventable reasons. That’s not only bad for students; it also threatens charter schools’ ability to reach the next level of scale and quality they’ll need to survive over the long run.
October 9, 2017
In 1997, Paul Hill published his book Reinventing Public Education: How Contracting Can Transform America’s Schools (the center where I work at the University of Washington was founded on the ideas presented). With his co-authors, Lawrence Pierce and James Guthrie, Hill proposed that all schools in a city should be contracted out to school-based nonprofits as a means of improvement. He contrasted his proposal with the concurrent charter school movement, in its infancy at the time. He wondered about the then-limited scope of the charter concept. Often seen as “piloting” new ideas for the public school system at large, would charter schools ever grow to serve every child in a city?
September 20, 2017
David Osborne, known for his best-selling Reinventing Government, is out with a new book, Reinventing America’s Schools. To promote it, he is blitzing the country and filling the nation’s newspapers with an argument that is familiar yet powerful: High quality charter schools are the best hope for urban education, so states and cities should do everything in their power to allow them to grow and prosper, and school districts should embrace them as well.
September 19, 2017
One of the most important events in the education reform movement in the last 25 years occurred last month in Indianapolis when a high school that had thrived as a charter institution gave up its autonomy from the school district. It’s a lesson in how excellence in education is defined by what occurs inside a school, not by its designation as a charter, a traditional public school or something else. And it shows how high standards and de-bureaucratization drive excellence.
August 30, 2017
In a little over four months, twenty students, two teachers and I will leave for Thailand, where we will live through mid-April of 2018 with support from Thrival Academy: Indy, a free pilot program at Arsenal Tech High School this year (which will hopefully open its doors as a free public charter school for the 2018-19 school year).
August 29, 2017
Indianapolis Public Schools has a unique approach to sparking innovation in its low performing schools. IPS tries to identify opportunities where innovative charter school operators can restart, reinvent, and reinvigorate some of its low performing schools.
July 16, 2017
The education policy discourse has grown increasingly toxic in Washington, exposing deepening divides over issues ranging from K-12 funding to school choice.
This time of federal deadlock offers a new reminder that our nation’s mayors must take greater ownership of education.
Mayors have stepped out on other prominent issues recently where the federal government has balked, most notably on climate change. Now they should leverage their unique position as the leaders closest to the people to move past the partisan federal debates on education and drive change in their communities’ K-12 systems.
July 13, 2017
I remember having my first African-American teacher when I attended IPS School #42. Seeing a Black woman leading students at the front of the class, in a school named for its beloved Black principal, Elder Diggs, made quite an impression on me as a little girl and helped shape me into the person I am today.
That’s why I applaud the news that five of the eight new Innovation School Fellows announced last week by The Mind Trust, Indianapolis Pubic Schools (IPS) and Mayor Joe Hogsett are people of color.