Thursday, August 29, 2013

Compact Newsletter, August 2013

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CRPE Reinventing Public Education
Timely updates and news from Compact sites coupled with easy access to relevant resources.
Defining and Organizing for School Autonomy describes the first steps districts undertake in granting autonomy to schools. Paul Hill explains why school autonomy is necessary, different areas of autonomy, and how a district decides which schools should receive autonomy. 
A new study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute examines parents’ values, priorities, and preferences regarding school choice. Researchers found that parents’ “must-haves” do not vary greatly, but some differences, like individual school attributes, correlate to demographic factors. Their findings could help districts better identify school-market “niches” and the target audience for these types of schools. 
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Beginning this month, one city or metropolitan area will be profiled in each Compact Newsletter. This special spotlight will highlight ongoing district or charter reforms in a specific city. First up is Denver!
Through Denver’s district-charter collaboration project, entitled “Compact Blue”, district and charter partners are working to transform school practices and performance through Peer-to-Peer Learning Labs (PPLL) for data driven instruction and leadership. The PPLLs pair highly effective mentor schools (Blue and high Green schools on the common school performance framework) with less effective mentee schools (low Green and high Yellow schools) for intensive job-embedded learning focused on improving instructional practices and driving increased student achievement.
Denver's Collaborative Council is the structure the city is now using to move the district-charter collaboration work. This council is an evolution from its initial Charter Compact steering committee. Each year, the charter community elects/appoints five charter leaders to serve along side four Denver Public Schools Senior Leaders to drive policy and practice initiatives pertinent to district-charter collaboration.
Thanks to the hard work of this council, in late June Denver's Board of Education passed a policy that institutionalizes a more equitable allocation of mill levy dollars for Denver's charter schools, which codifies allocations on an annual basis. It also codifies one-time payouts to allocate historically-accrued reserves not previously available to charters as well as dollars collected but not distributed this year. The passage of this policy enables charters to receive more funding for four targeted, specific purposes: enrichment programs, tutoring, technology, and full day kindergarten. These additional dollars allow charter schools to have the same equity of opportunity for funding as district schools. 
New York
A single application system for district and charter schools may be implemented in Indianapolis
Los Angeles 
LAUSD and charter operator partner give school a new name and outlook.

Did we miss some compact news in your city? If so, please send us a link and we’ll post it in our next compact newsletter. 
New Blog by Robin Lake and Paul Hill
Want to learn more about what CRPE experts Robin Lake and Paul Hill are thinking? Check out CRPE’s weekly blog.

Save the Date!
CRPE’s annual Portfolio 101 Training will take place October 4th in Cleveland, OH. This is a great opportunity to help new or recently hired Compact leaders get up to speed on the Portfolio model. If you or someone on your team would benefit from this training, please contact Liz Ogden about registration.

District/Charter Collaboration Interim Report
The Northeast Charter School Network blog cited CRPE’s Interim Report as evidence to declare Hartford as one of the nation’s strongest district-charter collaborations.

Center on Reinventing Public Education
Improving education through transformative, evidence-based ideas
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