Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Compact Newsletter, January 2013

This monthly newsletter provides timely updates from compact sites and easy access to relevant resources.

Event: Portfolio School District Network and District-Charter Compact Cities Meetings, Nashville, TN

District and charter leaders from all 16 compact cities have registered for the back-to-back Gates Foundation’s District-Charter Compact Cities Meeting and CRPE’s Portfolio School District Network Meeting from January 29-31, 2013. We expect over 150 people for the three-day event. The following table summarizes the details for each meeting.

January 29 – District-Charter Compact Meeting January 29-31 – CRPE Portfolio School District Network Meeting
Invitees 16 compact cities All portfolio cities
Meeting Focus Updates from RFP-awarded cities and compact collaborations around school performance frameworks and special education. View the meeting agenda. Human capital at the school, district, and charter level. View the meeting agenda.
Registration Invitations have been sent directly. Over capacity and the waitlist is full. See below for information on the next meeting.
Travel and Lodging If you received an invitation from the Gates Foundation to pay for travel, please contact pamela.oakes@gatesfoundation.org with any questions.


Union Station Hotel is sold out. Rooms are still available next door at the Nashville Holiday Inn Express. You can register using this link or by calling 877.HIE.STAY (443.7829) and requesting the "Center on Reinventing Public Education" block.

Contact for Questions Pamela Oakes at Pamela.Oakes@gatesfoundation.org Libuse Binder at lbinder@uw.edu

Webinars: We will seek input during the Nashville meeting about what webinar topics would be most helpful to you in 2013. Ideas include coordinating transportation, coordinating facilities and accountability systems, and building public support.

Save the Date: The next Portfolio School District Network Meeting is in Seattle from July 9-11. The main theme will be choice and accountability.

CRPE’s New Book: Strife and Progress: Portfolio Strategies for Managing Urban Schools

This new book from Paul Hill, Christine Campbell, and Betheny Gross fully explores the portfolio strategy. Based on studies of portfolio school districts, the book examines how mayors and other city leaders have introduced the strategy, compares implementation across several cities, and describes both the civic coalitions that have supported the reform as well as the intense conflicts it can set off. The authors cover reasons why the portfolio strategy may be more sustainable than other education reform efforts, and why portfolio cities implementing the strategy should expect a “ratchet” effect—occasionally stalling out due to political resistance, but coming back because of the pressing need facing districts and the logic of continuous improvement.

Attendees of CRPE’s Portfolio Meeting in Nashville will be receiving a complimentary copy of the book. If you aren’t able to attend and would like a copy, use this link to order on Amazon.

External Resources: Designing School Accountability Metrics for College Readiness and Completion

New York City’s Progress Report, an annual school report card based on progress, performance, and school environment, now includes college and career readiness measures. The new metrics, which are worth 10 percent of a school’s overall grade, show how well students are prepared for life after high school on the basis of passing advanced courses, meeting English and math standards set by the City University of New York, and enrolling in a post-secondary institution. In addition, schools earn points for the college and career readiness of students within the lowest third of proficiency citywide.

Check out this resource along with over 80 External Resources for district and charter leaders that CRPE has compiled.

Update: Baltimore Redesigns Charter and Other Contract-Operated Schools’ Renewal Process

Over the past year, Baltimore’s compact leaders have been able to come together and design a rigorous, multiple-measure accountability system. Last week, Baltimore schools CEO Andrés Alonso recommended that three charter schools, one transformation school, and two other operator-run schools—out of a total of 25 reviewed–would not have their contracts renewed. The recommendations grew out of a new, transparent renewal process that bases decisions on an overall rating in three areas: academics, school climate, and governance and fiscal management. Those ratings are based on a range of quantitative and qualitative data, including state test scores and other test data, surveys, and an extensive school visit.

While the new renewal process represents a strong step forward, many still see it as a work in progress. A few charter leaders, for example, have expressed concerns around the flexibility of the model used, that the new system does not have an appeals process, and that renewal criteria do not align with those used to decide which Baltimore City district schools to close.

To learn more, view Baltimore’s renewal documents, including a site visit framework. Also see Carol Beck’s op-ed, “Holding charter schools accountable,” featured in The Baltimore Sun on January 15, 2013.

Latest District-Charter Collaboration Updates

"Making Charter Schools More Inclusive," Sarah Carr, Harvard Education Letter, Volume 29, Number 1, January/February 2013

"Educational rivals work together in Spring Branch," Ericka Mellon, Houston Chronicle, January 5, 2013

"Our view: Philly shows how charter, public schools can collaborate," Editorial, Erie Times-News, December 27, 2012

"IDEA announces plans for future in Austin," Jade Mingus, KVUE News, December 18, 2013

"Austin school trustees vote to end IDEA charter partnership", Melissa B. Taboada, The Austin American-Statesman, December 17, 2012

"Gates Foundation Announces 2012 District-Charter Compacts," Leah Lomotey-Nakon, Nonprofit Quarterly, December 13, 2012

"Morrison Wants CMS To Collaborate With Private And Charter Schools," Lisa Miller, WFAE 90.7 - Charlotte’s NPR News Source, December 13, 2012

"New York City Commits to Further Collaboration Between District and Charter Schools," Press Release, New York City Charter School Center, December 10, 2012

"Gates Foundation gives schools $2.5M to build effectiveness," Kristen A. Graham, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 6, 2012

"Grants Back Public-Charter Cooperation," Motoko Rich, The New York Times, December 5, 2012

"Gates Foundation gives $25 million to help charters, traditional schools cooperate," Lyndsey Layton, The Washington Post, December 5, 2012

"7 cities to split $25M in education grants designed to foster district-charter collaboration," Associated Press, December 5, 2012

"Denver lands $4 million for ‘charter compact,’" Julie Poppen, EdNews Colorado, December 5, 2012

"Gates Foundation gives to expand Boston's The Compact," Mary Moore, Boston Business Journal, December 5, 2012,

"Boston schools win Gates Foundation grant," James Vaznis, The Boston Globe, December 5, 2012

"Philly among seven cities to receive $25 million for school collaboration," Solomon Leach, Metro, December 5, 2012

"SKY Partnership to deepen collaboration between district and charter schools in Spring Branch ISD," The Memorial Examiner, December 5, 2012

"Big grant will promote Hartford school, charter ties," Robert A. Frahm, The CT Mirror, December 5, 2012