- Apr 2019
This report examines how New Orleans education officials have managed the return of nearly all of the city’s public schools to the control of the local elected school board for the first time since the state takeover of public schools in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
- Nov 2018
These essays rethink foundational aspects of the current education system and offer new ideas to shift the lens from schools to students.
- Nov 2018
This essay lays out a theory of integrated “light governance” of local schools, colleges, learning pathways, and special courses.
- Feb 2018
This report examines recent efforts of districts and charter schools to share key instructional practices and offers recommendations for education leaders to move forward.
- Jan 2018
This paper examines the characteristics of effective superintendents and offers guidance for current and aspiring district leaders as well as those offering superintendent training programs.
- Jan 2018
This report examines why charter school growth in the San Francisco Bay Area has slowed dramatically and offers solutions for cities nationwide to encourage the development of new high-quality schools.
- Nov 2017
This analysis examines 18 cities offering public school choice to determine whether 1) their education systems are continuously improving, 2) all their students have equitable access to high-quality schools, and 3) their strategies are rooted in the community.
- Nov 2017
This paper provides an honest assessment of the portfolio strategy’s strengths, weaknesses, and necessary evolution.
- Oct 2017
This brief, the first in a multiyear series examining DC School Reform Now’s innovative High Quality Schools Campaign, offers lessons for district and city leaders who want school choice to work for all families.
- Aug 2017
CRPE researchers discover distinct school differences in three cities and offer innovative, evidence-based solutions to help urban U.S. districts increase options so that families can find the right fit for their child.
- Jan 2017
Based on six years of research, this report explores why a growing number of districts and charter schools are choosing to work together, the costs and benefits of different types of cooperation, and the real impacts of successful collaboration on students and families.
- Dec 2016
This study explores families’ experiences choosing and enrolling in schools using the new Camden Enrollment, and provides recommendations for improvements to the system.
- Oct 2016
CRPE's new paper focuses on developing a common school performance framework, tool for measuring performance of an individual school using a defined set of metrics that is common to schools across different agencies or governing bodies.
- Mar 2015
This report examines Spring Branch Independent School District's progress on implementing the portfolio strategy.
- Feb 2015
This brief outlines how empowered principals can be assets for public engagement in school systems using the portfolio strategy.
- Jan 2015
Published in coordination with A+ Denver, the report evaluates Denver's SchoolChoice enrollment system from 2012 to 2014.
- Mar 2014
This brief provides an introductory look at how leaders can effectively engage stakeholders during the design and implementation of a common enrollment system.
- Mar 2014
This issue brief explains how three cities—Denver, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.—are addressing the issues involved with governing cross-sector enrollment systems.
- Oct 2013
This "Spotlight" brief describes successful collaborative initiatives in district-charter Compact cities, and highlights the advantages that portfolio district superintendents bring to collaboration.
- Jun 2012
This case study of the implementation of Baltimore City Public Schools' portfolio strategy explores how the district's reform work aligns with CRPE’s definition of the portfolio strategy and how it compares to the approaches taken in other districts.
- Feb 2012
In January 2012, over 100 district and charter leaders gathered in New Orleans for the sixth Portfolio School District Network meeting. John White, new state superintendent of Louisiana, launched the meeting with the idea of a "portfolio mindset," one that believes that innovation comes from the ground up. This brief presents the themes that emerged from the two-day meeting, as well as next steps for the network.
- Jan 2012
The 6th annual edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality provides a clear roadmap for school districts and charter schools interested in working together to improve education options. The report explains the risks and technical challenges behind charter-district collaboration and provides powerful examples of how they can be overcome.
- Jan 2012
In this chapter, Tom DeWire of Baltimore Public schools draws on the experience of choice enrollment and assignment plans in Baltimore, New York, and Boston to illustrate the important questions that districts need to ask when designing such systems.
- Jan 2012
In this chapter Parker Baxter argues that by reimagining the distribution of funding, facilities, and other district assets without regard to whether a school is a district school or a charter school, districts can strike a unique and powerful bargain with charter schools: shared resources and shared responsibility.
- Jun 2011
Drawing from the experiences of high-performing charter school networks, this white paper examines why districts struggle to close the achievement gap, what portfolio district leaders can find when they look outside the traditional system for gap-closing solutions, and how new schools are able to do what traditional schools have not.
- Jun 2011
A growing number of urban districts across the country are pursuing a "portfolio strategy," profoundly changing the role of the school district and its relationship to schools in order to bring about dramatically better outcomes for students. This interim assessment summarizes the significant findings from the first three years of CRPEs study of the development of the portfolio strategy in districts nationwide.
- May 2011
In February 2011, the Center on Reinventing Public Education convened a conference to help districts implementing school choice under the U.S. Department of Education’s Voluntary Public School Choice program. This paper summarizes the two-day conversation and lessons from the discussion.
- May 2011
Over the past two decades, some district leaders have asked urban universities to develop emergency strategies to rescue low-performing schools. How do universities and districts develop effective relationships that align with their missions?
- Nov 2010
A look at New York City and Washington, D.C., this paper shows how portfolio—and perhaps traditional—districts can transform talent management from a bureaucratic staffing system into a core leadership function.
- Oct 2009
Study on four urban school districts experimenting with new school designs and new ways of holding schools accountable for performance by implementing a "portfolio strategy."
- Jul 2009
This report surveys the broad transportation landscape and conducts in-depth work with families in two cities to determine what role transportation plays in parents' school decisions, and how districts might address related issues.
- Apr 2006
This working paper evaluates the effect of implementing one of three prominent Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) models on student achievement and discipline outcomes, using a matched sample of Florida model and non-model schools.
- Jan 2006
This essay is part of a collection of essays published by The Urban Institute that assess the challenges facing New Orleans and recommend tested models for making the city's social infrastructure stronger and more equitable than it was before Katrina.
- Oct 2004
Edited by James Harvey and Paul T. Hill, this book identifies roles for foundations and civic groups in defining strategies for big-city school reform, and ensuring that promised changes are implemented. This is the third and final book in a series on big city school reform initiated by the Brookings Institution.
- Jul 2003
Based on a survey and on interviews with superintendents from the nation's largest urban districts, this study explores the working life of urban superintendents. This report is second in second in the Center's leadership series.
- Apr 2003
This article looks at why we should devolve decisionmaking in schools. Hill recommends three changes in state laws to create a public education system in which families and teachers have options, schools have a good balance of accountability and freedom of action, and school boards have fewer temptations but enough powers to provide good schools.
- Dec 2002
This report summarizes the functions of school boards, identifies some of the problems with big city school boards, and suggests options for reorienting boards around the trusteeship of the children they serve.
- Jan 2000
This volume is the second in a trilogy of books designed to describe the politics of reform in urban school systems and clarify reform options available to mayors and other community leaders who want to improve school performance dramatically. It Takes a City develops lessons from the reform experiences in six American cities which have made concerted attempts to improve their public schools: Boston, Memphis, New York City District #2, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Seattle.
- Dec 1999
How can we move toward a public education system that can supply good schools for city children? This chapter presents two discussions: first, an analysis of the practices and attitudes that now prevent big cities from providing a supply of strong schools; and second, a proposal about how cities, with the help of state governments and state and local civic elites can build a new public education system.
- Dec 1998
This book identifies the essential elements of reform strategies that can transform school performance in big cities beset by poverty, social instability, racial isolation, and labor unrest. It also suggests ways that local leaders can assemble the necessary funding and political support to make such strategies work. This is the first volume in a trilogy of books designed to describe the politics of reform in urban school systems and clarify reform options available to mayors and other community leaders who want to improve school performance dramatically.
- Dec 1997
A heated debate is raging over our nation’s public schools and how they should be reformed, with proposals ranging from imposing national standards to replacing public education altogether with a voucher system for private schools. Combining decades of experience in education, this book, published by the University of Chicago Press, proposes an innovative approach to solving the problems of our school system and find a middle ground between these extremes.
- Aug 1997
What, if anything can now be said about whether decentralization of public school systems is possible and, if so, under what conditions is it likely to lead to changes in instruction and improvements in student outcomes? This paper from the Journal of Education and Urban Society attempts to answer this and other questions.