Reinventing America’s Schools

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Dealing with Zoom Fatigue: Using Project-Based Learning to End the School Year on a High Note

As schools wind down from a, hopefully, once-in-a-lifetime shutdown, many students and teachers find their motivation also winding down. Educators are calling this “zoom fatigue,” referring to the commonly used teleconference platform. To end the year on a high note, teachers could turn to project-based learning (PBL), by asking students to complete a project they…

A Student's View: Thinking Outside the Device - With a Little Ingenuity, Libraries Could Keep Kids Loving Reading While Schools Are Closed

The transition to distance learning has caused unprecedented disruption to our education system. Many low-income students do not have internet access necessary for taking classes online. While some districts and charter schools are distributing devices and hotspots, in others, students are making do with paper packets. With all this chaos, though, we still live in…

Blog: Does America CARE about Charter Schools?

The $2.2 trillion Corona Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act appropriated $30.75 billion for education—almost half of which will flow to “Local Education Agencies.” These LEAs include both school districts and many charter schools or networks. But charter laws differ from state to state, and many charter schools authorized by school districts do not…

Blog: Let's Flatten the Curve on Anti-Charter Politics

Lest anyone still thinks the teachers union in Los Angeles cares a whit about school children, its president, Alex Caputo-Pearl, has again demanded that L.A. Unified School District block any expansion of charter schools. These schools educate almost a quarter of Los Angeles County’s public school students—and do it far more effectively than district-operated schools.…

Blog: Corporate Citizens in a Time of Crisis

For parents struggling with the uncertainty of employment while also dealing with a global pandemic, paying for an internet connection may be the last thing on their minds. But with the closure of nearly every public and private school in America, many school systems are relying on the internet to make sure their students can…

Blog: Trump's Proposed Budget Would Eliminate the Federal Charter Schools Program

President Trump, in yesterday’s 2021 budget address, called for cutting the U.S. Department of Education budget by 8 percent. That is obviously terrible, but it is, at least, less than the 12 percent he wanted to axe in 2019 or the 10 percent reduction he called for in 2020. Slashing eight percent of the federal…

Osborne, Langhorne for Medium: "The Progressive Roots of Charter Schools"

Listening to the rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates, one would think charter schools were a Republican initiative opposed by all progressives. Read the full piece here on Medium. By David Osborne and Emily Langhorne Listening to the rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates, one would think charter schools were a Republican initiative opposed by all progressives. Bernie…

Cribb for The 74: "The English Embrace Charter-School-Like Academies - and Learn the Free Market Is No Substitute for a Quality Authorizer"

The English Embrace Charter-School-Like Academies — and Learn the Free Market Is No Substitute for a Quality Authorizer by Phoebe Cribb, Summer Intern New Orleans is the first major U.S. city to convert all its traditional public schools to public charter schools. Now imagine an entire country moving in this direction. That is exactly what…

Curtis Valentine on NNPA: "Educator Spotlight: Lakisha Young, Oakland Reach"

Lakisha Young is no stranger to education reform. A former Teach For America corps member and founding member of a KIPP Charter School, Young knows the power parents can wield when they demand educational options for their children. The daughter of a single mother who enrolled her in a traditional public school, a Catholic school,…

Opportunities for Innovation: Community Responsive Special Health Services in Charter Schools

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, almost 25,000 students left the island. Puerto Rico’s Department of Education closed a quarter of its schools in response to their intensified economic crisis, damaged facilities and infrastructure, and decreased student population. Those students who remained missed an average of 78 days of school. Faced with this catastrophe, legislators…

Community Responsive Rural Charter Schools as a 21st Century Solution to School Consolidation

The West Virginia House of Delegates recently voted against Senate Bill 451, which would have allowed for the creation of public charter schools throughout the state. Critics of charter schools claim that they “drain money” from traditional local public schools. However, West Virginia has been draining money from its local public schools for years. Since…

Charter Schools in Rural Communities: An Opportunity for Career Preparation through STEM Skills Development

The West Virginia House of Delegates recently shot down Senate Bill 451, abruptly killing a promising chance for education reform throughout the state. The bill, which would have allowed for creation of public charter schools throughout the state as well as an increase in open enrollment policies, would have created more educational options for all…

A Look Inside Monument Academy, a D.C. Public Charter School Designed to Serve Students in Foster Care

The industrial-era public education system that America inherited from the last century no longer works for the majority of students. Because it is highly centralized and assigns students to schools based on their home address, it produces cookie-cutter schools that treat all children the same.  However, that educational model is profoundly unfair to the majority…

Valentine for BlackPressUSA, "Developing a universal enrollment system for all Memphis public schools"

On any given day, you can find Sarah Carpenter organizing parents in the Memphis area. A single mother of four daughters and 13 grandchildren, Carpenter was an advocate long before becoming co-founder and CEO of The Memphis Lift, which she describes as “a parent organization run by parents, for parents.” Born and raised in North…

Bellwether Education Partners' Eight Cities: Exploring Urban America's Most Successful Education Reform Efforts

As a strong proponent of 21st century school systems, Reinventing America’s Schools would like to highlight Bellwether Education Partners’ Eight Cities, a project that attempts to answer the question: “How do you build a continuously improving system of schools?” The Eight Cities website, https://www.eightcities.org, profiles urban districts that have managed to get “more students into…

Welcome to Washington D.C., Dr. Ferebee!

This week, Mayor Muriel Bowser named Dr. Lewis Ferebee as the next chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools. We at the Progressive Policy Institute have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Dr. Ferebee on several occasions. When working on his book, Reinventing America’s Schools Project Director David Osborne interviewed Dr. Ferebee, and…

All of New York City's Public High Schools Need Admissions Reform

In an effort to increase accessibility to New York City’s nine specialized public high schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed expanding their admissions criteria.  This may help reduce disparities by race in the educational opportunities New York students can access, but New York’s public schools need broader district-wide enrollment reforms to truly ensure all students enjoy…

Why it Matters That Public Charters Dominated the 2018 US News Best High School Rankings

This morning, U.S. News and World Report released its 2018 list of the nation’s best high schools. For the past few years, public charters have been slowly taking over the top 10 spots on the list; this year, they dominated them. For those of us who believe in the power of public school choice to bring…

A Step Down for the Chancellor; A Step Forward for D.C.

This week, Antwan Wilson stepped down as Chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools after the majority of the 13-member D.C. City Council demanded his resignation for skirting the rules of the infamously competitive D.C. school lottery. Wilson ensured his daughter received a preferential transfer into the district’s highest-performing, non-selective traditional public school. To the…

Shelby County Public Schools Superintendent Hobson is "willing to voluntarily relinquish control over some struggling schools to be operated by private charter groups," or so we hope.

Fighting for the neediest and pushing back against special interests are often unexpected actions in the realm of political battles. However, Dorsey Hopson, Superintendent of the Shelby County Schools (SCS) in Memphis, Tennessee, might exceed our expectations. Last week, Hopson announced that he is “willing to voluntarily relinquish control over some struggling schools to be…

David Osborne Answers Frequently Asked Education Reform Questions

As I travel around the country on a 24-city book tour, giving talks and meeting with education reform leaders and activists, I get a lot of questions. I thought it might be useful to answer a few of them in print. These are a set I received in Oakland, California, at an event sponsored by…

Indianapolis Grows A 21st Century System: Indianapolis Public Schools Calls for Quality School Partners to Open Innovation Network Schools

In a recent media release, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) announced they are looking for “quality partners” to launch innovation network schools for the 2018-2019 school year. IPS explains their innovation school network as a group of “public schools with expanded autonomy to make academic and operational decisions that will maximize student achievement. Innovation schools also…

A Lesson in Lotteries from the District

Under Chancellor Antwan Wilson, the children of current and former public officials will no longer receive preferential placement in the District’s infamously competitive school enrollment system. The move follows a report from the D.C. Inspector General that former Chancellor Kaya Henderson had allowed the children of several top public officials to bypass the My School…

21st Century School Systems Need Effective Authorizers

When I was in high school, I had a teacher everyone loved: Mr. C. Mr. C told us stories about traveling, he talked about baseball, and he let us sit with our friends and socialize. We completed worksheets; we earned As in the class. We were happy, and our parents were happy with our grades.…

A Promising Perkins Reauthorization

On June 22nd, the House unanimously passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). Referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions the following Monday, the bill is a reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. If passed, it would make headway in creating…

Et Tu, NAACP?

When I was a kid, my parents bought a house in a middle class neighborhood of an economically diverse city. My brother, who is a year older than me, embarked upon his schooling in our local public elementary school – an adventure that lasted one year. His teacher struggled to control the class, fights broke…

Osborne & Miller-Freutel for U.S. News, "Filling the Adult Education Vacuum"

Charters offer students over the age of 18 an alternative path to graduating high school When people think about education, they usually focus on kindergarten through 12th grade, or perhaps higher education. But there are more than 30 million adults without high school diplomas, and the publicly funded adult education system can serve only two million…

Why Progressives Should Oppose the Nomination of Betsy DeVos

The U.S. Senate will soon vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos, and it appears the vote may be a 50-50 tie, in which case Vice President Pence will break the tie. We believe DeVos’s confirmation would be a mistake, and we urge senators to vote against it. She supports the idea that every student…

Thank you Governor Cuomo!

Kudos to Governor Andrew Cuomo for proposing that the New York State legislature abolish the charter schools cap that limits the sector’s expansion in New York City. As a group, the city’s charters have long been high performers. Despite opposition from adults in the system – particularly the teachers’ union – we must never lose…

PPI Leads NewDEAL Panel Discussion on 21st Century Education and Skills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1, 2016 Contact: Cody Tucker, ctucker@ppionline.org or 202-775-0106 WASHINGTON—The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) today led a panel discussion at the 2016 NewDEAL Leaders Conference on strategies to ensure that all Americans have the education and skills to succeed in the rapidly changing 21st Century global economy. The panel was moderated by PPI President Will Marshall and featured panelists…

Concerns with Trump's Secretary of Education Pick

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s pick to be his Secretary of Education, is often described as a champion of school choice. Progressives should know that she defines “school choice” in ways that undermine public accountability and blur the crucial distinction between public and private education. “We think of the educational choice movement as involving many parts:…

PPI School Reform Newsblast: 25th Anniversary of the First Charter School

We are delighted to send you this inaugural issue of the School Reform Newsblast, a new information service launched by Reinventing America’s Schools. It aggregates important news about developments in school innovation and reform across the country. The Newsblast is going to a select audience of school reform leaders and activists in government, business, and…

A Response to the National Education Policy Center

When I saw that the University of Colorado-Boulder’s National Education Policy Center had published an 11-page review of my recent Progressive Policy Institute report, A 21st Century School System in the Mile High City, I was flattered. Then I read Professor Terrenda White’s work and was flabbergasted. Professor White contends that “the only data presented…