The Lens
Bringing vision and clarity to education policy
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our report, Better Together: Ensuring Quality District Schools in Times of Charter Growth and Declining Enrollment, takes an honest look at an urgent problem that has long divided education leaders. To help inform and advance a thoughtful discussion, we invited a number of experts to share their views on this complex and politically charged issue.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Our report, Better Together: Ensuring Quality District Schools in Times of Charter Growth and Declining Enrollment, takes an honest look at an urgent problem that has long divided education leaders. To help inform and advance a thoughtful discussion, we invited a number of experts to share their views on this complex and politically charged issue.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our report, Better Together: Ensuring Quality District Schools in Times of Charter Growth and Declining Enrollment, takes an honest look at an urgent problem that has long divided education leaders. To help inform and advance a thoughtful discussion, we invited a number of experts to share their views on this complex and politically charged issue.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When districts go into a major period of declining enrollment, schools can experience chaotic changes in staffing, course offerings, and student supports—as fixed costs eat up an increasingly large share of revenues, and teacher and student morale spirals downward. The harm this causes students should be unacceptable to everyone.

Friday, September 22, 2017

For those in the charter movement who have viewed chartering as a systemic reform strategy (not just an escape hatch for some kids), the prevalent theory of action for the last ten to fifteen years has been a “tipping point” strategy. The idea was to concentrate growth in targeted cities until districts either responded to competition or were entirely replaced by charters.

Looked good on paper. Sadly, though, things are not going as expected. Here’s why:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

22 years ago, I published a RAND report, Reinventing Public Education, urging that all public schools operate under contracts with public officials. (This later grew into a book with the same title written with Larry Pierce and Jim Guthrie.) The core argument came from my earlier studies on school effectiveness—that every public school needed a specific contract about its mission, freedoms, and performance expectations.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I live in Seattle, a deeply "blue," progressive city. There are a lot of great things about being surrounded by people passionate about public policy and willing to exert their political muscles to fight for the things they care about, whether that may be protesting the Trump administration's immigration policy or fighting for a higher minimum wage.

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