Publications / Reinventing America's Schools

Publications

Political Memo

By / 1.12.2017

Springfield, Massachusetts, is where the United States’ one wholly indigenous sport – basketball – was invented. It may soon be known for a completely different innovation. The Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership (SEZP) is an attempt to create within the public schools the conditions that make charter schools successful, without the poisonous politics that often accompany […]

Policy Brief

By / 12.15.2016

Our urban school systems struggle because so many of their students live in poverty, but they also struggle because they were designed a hundred years ago, for an industrial society. In an increasing number of cities, they are being replaced by 21st century systems, in which the central administration does not operate all schools and […]

Policy Report

By / 10.19.2016

Because Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last December, states are revamping their federally required systems to measure school quality and hold schools accountable for performance. But most are doing so using outdated assumptions, holdovers from the Industrial Era, when cookiecutter public schools followed orders from central headquarters and students were assigned to […]

Policy Report

By / 5.4.2016

Some of the most dramatic gains in urban education have come from school districts using what many call a “portfolio strategy.” Others call it “reinvention,” a “21st century approach,” or “relinquishment.” By whatever name, it generally means that districts negotiate performance agreements with some mix of traditional, charter, and hybrid public schools, allow them great […]

Political Memo

By and / 3.9.2016

Growing inequality has emerged as a central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Yet none of you has paid much attention to a major source of economic inequality in America: the uneven quality of our public schools. As far as we can determine, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has no thoughts on how to improve K-12 […]

Policy Memo

By / 1.7.2016

The first time I visited a Summit Public School, in February 2014, I pulled up in front of a long, low, one-story building in an office park setting. I was sure I had the wrong address—but no, there was a sign. This was Summit Denali, in Sunnyvale, California. Inside, my surprise deepened. All the students, […]

Policy Report

By / 9.15.2015

An important contest is taking place in Washington, D.C.—a race between two vehicles designed to carry children into the future with the habits and skills they need to live productive, meaningful lives. The older of the two, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), uses a “unified governance model” that emerged more than a century […]

Policy Report

By / 6.26.2012

Today some 5,600 charter schools are in operation, with more than two million students. Some critics persist in a fruitless argument that these schools have failed, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But regardless of your opinion about them, charter schools are here to stay. Those concerned about public education should quit debating […]