Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Compact Newsletter, October 2012

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

Updates from CRPE’s Portfolio 101 Meeting, Cleveland, OH

CRPE held its first Portfolio 101 meeting on October 23-25, 2012. The Portfolio School District Network convening took place in Cleveland, a city that has invested heavily in the portfolio strategy as evidenced in the recently passed state legislation known as “The Cleveland Plan.” Mayor Frank Jackson welcomed attendees, describing how the work in his city has been a community-wide effort including the business, union, and charter communities. During the course of the two-day meeting, CRPE presented a tutorial on the logic behind the Portfolio frame, the shift in perspective that the strategy requires of district staff, and the evidence gathered to date on its efficacy in improving education in districts. Attendees also learned how to strengthen ties with—and take full advantage of—high-performing charter schools as an integral part of the strategy. The PowerPoints and handouts from this leadership training can be found here.

New Resources: Sharing Instructional Practices - Tools for District and Charter Schools

District and charter leaders are rethinking talent management by creating new models for sharing principal and teacher training. CRPE’s website now includes documentation from districts that are leading the effort to spread effective instructional practices across sectors, including materials from Achievement First CMO in Connecticut and KIPP Houston. Those resources can be found here.

See also the School Performance Frameworks highlighted in the September newsletter.

Lessons from Co-Locations in Spring Branch, TX

In Spring Branch, Texas, district leaders have intentionally orchestrated organizational disruption by co-locating district and charter schools and participating in KIPP’s leadership programs and Yes Prep’s teacher trainings. During CRPE’s October 17, 2012, webinar, “Managing Talent and Sharing Instructional Practices in Spring Branch,” compact leaders discussed the advantages of sharing buildings and principal and teacher trainings and their progress to date. Watch the video or view the presentation slides here.

Save the Date: Portfolio School District Network and BMGF Compact Cities Meetings, Nashville, TN

Please save the dates of January 29-31 for both the BMGF Compact Cities Meeting, which will start early on Tuesday, January 29th and the next Portfolio School District Network Meeting, which will be held from January 29-31, 2013. CRPE and BMGF have aligned the meetings to reduce the travel burden on people in compact cities who will be attending both gatherings. The BMGF will cover travel costs for 2-3 representatives in the 16 compact cities to attend both meetings in Nashville, TN, at historic Union Station.

Portfolio Meeting: Twice yearly, CRPE convenes this growing group of leading school districts that are implementing the portfolio strategy. The meeting connects those working on similar problems to share new ideas and push each other forward. The main focus of this next meeting is human capital—at the school, district, and charter levels. This key aspect of the portfolio strategy is something many cities have been challenged by, and some districts and charter schools have developed creative strategies that we will examine. The meeting commences with an informal reception for attendees the evening of January 29. For those who arrive in town early enough, CRPE has arranged for school visits to two charter schools during the day on the 29th. Read more.

Compact Meeting: On January 29, the 16 Gates-awarded compact cities will dive deep into their compact goals and progress to date. We’ll hear updates from RFP-awarded cities and hold working groups that focus on compact collaborations around special education and school performance frameworks.

Stay tuned for more details on this meeting in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing you in the “Music City” in January.

Latest District-Charter Collaboration Updates

Signed earlier this year, but just made public, the Tulsa Public Schools Collaboration Compact is available at the National Charter School Resource Center website.

A school for Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, Sharon Broussard, The Plain Dealer, October 17, 2012

Minneapolis school district takes state to court, Steve Brandt, StarTribune Minneapolis, October 15, 2012

D.C. considers neighborhood admissions preference for charter schools, Emma Brown, Washington Post, D.C. Schools Insider, October 3, 2012

U.S. Department of Education Announces Grants Totaling More Than $1.2 Million to Charter Schools, ED.gov, October 3, 2012

Thousands turn out to charter school rally, Rebecca Harris, Catalyst Chicago, October 3, 2012

Hartford’s Jumoke Academy Awarded $100,000 Federal Grant for Milner School Partnership, Vanessa De La Torre, Hartford Courant, October 2, 2012.

Why A Connecticut School District Won’t Be The Last To Team Up With A Charter, Elle Moxley, StateImpact, September 28, 2012

Central Falls: Charter-District Collaboration Spells Success, NBCNews.com, September 28, 2012. This case study includes videos, an implementation timeline, details about the reading program, and results to date.

Can Public Schools Really Change? Why New Haven’s ambitious new education strategy might actually succeed, Emily Bazelon, Slate, September 27, 2012