Thursday, January 2, 2014

Compact Newsletter, December 2013

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CRPE Reinventing Public Education
Timely updates and news from Compact sites coupled with easy access to relevant resources.
District Charter collaboration in 2013 was a mixed story. As the year came to a close some
new cities were poised to reach across sector lines for the first time, including Tulsa, Albuquerque, and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Some smaller school districts in places like
Spokane, Washington, and
Grand Prairie, Texas were opening up to the idea that charter schools can increase access to quality options for students
Yet, as some cities move forward, others, such as New York, Boston, Baltimore, Hartford, and Sacramento, are focused on maintaining or renewing their momentum through periods of leadership turnover. 
Some important Compact collaborations over the past year included Baltimore’s collaborative design and use of a rigorous, multiple-measure accountability system for charter school renewal, the selection of two New Orleans charter schools to develop and run a teacher-based residency program for first-year teachers, Denver’s Collaboration Council working to pass equitable levy allocation, and Boston’s efforts to effectively implement Common Core, share practices via school-to-school partnerships, and better align student enrollment across sectors. 
In 2014 some compacts will enter their third year. Since signing their compacts many have undergone changes in leadership and political context, and numerous others face similar challenges ahead. With this in mind, both January's Portfolio Network meeting and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s gathering of Compact superintendents and charter sector leaders will focus on Sustainability and Public Engagement. To help Compact districts continue to move forward, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s meeting will also focus on strengthening substantive collaboration across sectors in areas such personalized learning, Common Core State Standards, and teacher effectiveness. 
CRPE will be providing updates as those meetings approach as well as summaries and useful tools in the months following.  
In the meantime, we wish you all the best for the new year. Please continue to share with us the successes and challenges of collaborative efforts in your cities. 
Cheers from CRPE’s Compact Team!
Robin Lake, Sarah Yatsko, Joe Jones, Melissa Bowen, Elizabeth Cooley Nelson, Angela Bruns and Michelle Saperstein
New York mayor Bill de Blasio announces Carmen Fariña as his choice for the next chancellor of New York City Schools (
New York Times,12/31/13).
Steve Barr argues that Bill DeBlasio should focus on finding common ground in New York City rather than creating further division (
New York Daily News, 12/9/13). 
Spokane Public Schools approaches new charter applicants with a collaborative mindset (, 11/21/13). 
Cities around the country will celebrate
National School Choice Week starting on January 26, 2014. Houston, winner of the 2013
Broad Prize For Urban Education will host the Kickoff Celebration (, 12/4/13). 
In Washington D.C., charters and district run schools are profiled along side one another in a joint equity report (
Education Week, 12/11/13). 
Compact Districts are among the largest and fastest growing charter districts in the nation (
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, December, 2013). 
CRPE's Best of 2013
Communicating Change
Communicating Change in Education: Ideas from a PR Expert 
This CRPE spotlight outlines four strategies for building effective communication around district change efforts.
Good Options and Choices for all Families: How Some Portfolio Districts are Collaborating with Charter Schools
Good Options and Choices for all Families: How Some Portfolio Districts are Collaborating with Charter Schools
This CRPE brief describes successful initiatives in several Compact cities and highlights the advantages that portfolio district superintendents bring to collaboration.
Compact Interim Report
District Charter Collaboration Compact: Interim Report 
This report finds that cities have made mixed progress on a number of fronts. The report includes Compact agreements and measurements of progress for each city, plus a checklist for district and charter leaders considering a collaboration Compact. 
Want to know more about what’s happening at CRPE? Check out our
weekly blog.

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