The Portfolio Mindset: Innovation Starts from the Ground Up

February 2012

At the first Portfolio School District Network meeting, in 2009, 15 people wondered whether the portfolio idea could work only in special circumstances like New York City or New Orleans. Three years later, 27 districts are implementing this continuous improvement strategy and more are eager to learn how they can make it work for them. Cities and states adopting the portfolio strategy are moving fast, looking for talent, solutions, and people to unite with in the work.

In January 2012, over 100 district and charter leaders gathered in New Orleans for the sixth 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. Over the course of the two-day meeting, network members worked together on real problems and came away with new ideas and valuable connections. This brief summary presents the themes that emerged from the meeting as well as next steps for the network.

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