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MARCH 29, 2015




APPEARANCES:  NOV 2, 2014   DEC 14, 2014   JAN 11, 2015   MAR 29, 2015
Our guest: TRACEE MANN     
Common Core OPT OUT FORM  Pacific Justice Institute
Federal Investment in Charter Schools - A Proposal for Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

  • "...charters have flexibility over staffing, budgeting, curricula, and school operations, such as length of the school day and year."
  • "Reward states and districts that engage high-quality charters in turning around their chronically underperforming schools."
  • "...transforming public education and the paths and barriers to expanding high-quality charter school programs, including the federal role in this transformation."
  • "...more likely to expand learning time beyond the traditional school day and year."
  • "...more likely to consider teachers' classroom performance in determining salary and reward teachers that take hard-to-staff positions with a higher salary."
  • "...held to the same state standards as tradtional schools and must serve the needs of all students including low-income students, English language learners and special education students."
  • "The federal government's investment in charter schools reached new heights under the Obama administration."
  • "...reward states and districts that support bolder turnaround plans like restart option. This may include encouraging states to award larger subgrants to districts and schools that implement the restart option." 

Hopes, Fears, & Reality - A Balanced look at American Charter Schools in 2012

  • "Decissions about whether to make charters a force for integration and redistribution are still ahead of us."
  • "Charter school incubators are organization that seek to improve odds that new schools will succeed."  
  • "...Or are there ways of organizing instruction so that schools need fewer teachers?"
  • "The lab rotation assumes using 25 percent fewer core teachers and one technology aide per 70 students..."

School District Governance Reform: The Devil is in the Details

  • "...we also discuss other alternative governance approaches, including district dissolution and state receivership."
  • "The transfer of power usually allows the mayor, state, or both the ability to appoint school board members, hire a superintendent, control the budget, and make decisions regarding student curriculum and programs."
  • "Similarly, a desire to make schools more uniform could impact parental choice within the district and cause more parents to seek other mechanisms for choice, such as the voucher program, charter schools, or open enrollment in suburban schools."
  • "A state take cover could theoretically result in more revenue, while a mayoral takeover may enable some efficiencies to be achieved in collaboration with city departments."

How Small Is Too Small? - An Analysis of School District Consolidation

  • "Moreover, very small districts are more difficult to hold accountable for student outcomes because their small enrollments do not yield statistically significant results." 
  • "However, we are concerned that state and federal accountability systems cannot draw meaningful conclusions about student performance in very small school districts."

Size Matters: A Look at School-District Consolidation

  • "...policymakers have begun to rethink the fundamental design of our education system."
  • "Could we reform the structure of our education system in ways that might increase student achievement?" 
  • "Rather, these data are educated guesses,.."
  • " lost potential capacity, we mean money that may not have been spent if the district was larger and these data are estimates of potential lost dollars based on established methods of determining the cost of providing a sufficient education (By sufficient we mean reaching state and federal standards.)
  • "..small districts often have small schools, and small schools can have higher overhead costs."

"Extraordinary Authority Districts"

"Extraordinary authority districts" - turnaround districts in which states gain legal authority to take over and operate chronically underperforming schools and/or districts - can fundamentally transform school structures and practices." 


A Perfect Storm Episode 2: The Illusion of Choice

A Perfect Storm Episode 2: The Illusion of Choice



A Perfect Storm Episode 2: The Illusion of Choice

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Abolish Elected School Boards




Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: Abolish Elected School Boards

Elected School Board member Alturrick Kenney and Milwaukee Teachers Union President Bob Peterson respond to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings call to abolish elected ...

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State Strategies for Turning Around Low-Performing Schools and Districts - Policy Update June 2009

" It is estimated that by 2010, about five percent of the nation’s public schools, many of them in high-poverty areas, will have moved into the most extreme NCLB designation—one that calls for school restructuring. In some states, the figure approaches 50 percent of public schools."

Andy Calkins from Mass Insight Education was mentioned on the page:

 "In March 2009, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) invited Andy Calkins from the Mass Insight Education and Research Institute and Sam Redding from the National Center on Innovation and Improvement to address state board of education chairs and chief state school officers on designing a coherent strategy to turn around the lowest-performing schools."

 "Scaling up what works and leading systemic change are inherently difficult because they require changing the behavior of all individuals at every level of the system."

 "The core strategies include crafting a carrot and stick approach, creating differentiated levels of intervention in districts based on the degree of need, and balancing flexibility and autonomy for districts to leverage their willingness to change prior to losing control to the state under the final NCLB designation—reconstitution."

Andrew Calkins 

Andrew Calkins (EDUCAUSE) |


As Deputy Director for Next Generation Learning Challenges (, Andy Calkins helps to lead strategy development, organizational management, and program execution across all phases of the initiative. His 30 years of experience in K-12 reform complement the largely higher education-focused background of other NGLC staff and of EDUCAUSE, the non-profit organization managing NGLC.

Prior to joining NGLC in April, 2011, Andy served as Senior Program Officer at the Stupski Foundation, Senior Vice President at the influential education reform group Mass Insight, Executive Director of Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. (the non-profit behind the national "Reach for the Power: Teach"¯ campaign working to build a highly skilled, diverse teacher workforce), and as the editor of Electronic Learning magazine at Scholastic Inc. Andy holds a B.A. from Harvard College and was a Henry Fellow at Cambridge University in the UK. He is the lead author of The Careers in Teaching Handbook and The Turnaround Challenge, Mass Insight's 2007 report on turning around the nation's persistently underperforming schools.

Our Approach | Mass Insight Education  

Here is their approach:  "Dramatic change requires urgency and an atmosphere of crisis. The indefensibly poor performance records at these schools—compared to achievement outcomes at model schools serving similar student populations—should ignite exactly the public, policymaker, and professional outrage needed to justify dramatic action."


Create crisis!!




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