Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Compact Newsletter, November 2013

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CRPE Reinventing Public Education
COMPACT NEWSLETTER                November 2013
Timely updates and news from Compact sites coupled with easy access to relevant resources.
New York Spotlight
Compact Threatened: New Mayor’s Proposed Policies Could Set Back Efforts to Improve District-Charter Collaboration and Equity 
NYC’s mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has proposed a moratorium on co-location of district and charter schools and is considering charging rent to at least some charter schools that use city facilities. These moves may threaten both the hard-won relationship between district and charter schools and the well-documented gains in student achievement during the Bloomberg administration
NYC’s District-Charter Collaboration Compact, signed in 2010 by former chancellor Joel Klein and 88 charter schools, engaged the NYCDOE in supporting high-quality charter schools by emphasizing equity and resource sharing. In turn, charter schools reaffirmed their commitment to innovation and to providing high-quality education for all students. District and charter schools have both benefitted from co-locating schools; in some instances co-locations have blossomed into true collaborations
NYC Collaborates, a program born out of NYC’s Compact, brings district and charter leaders together on a Collaboration Council to discuss issues that affect schools across the city. They organize school study tours for teachers from both sectors to learn about practices (i.e., supporting English language learners and students with special needs) in exemplary charter and district schools and operate an “Education Leadership Collaborative” to help educators become stronger school leaders. The organization is also actively working to dispel myths about co-location, testifying at council meetings on how schools can benefit when they work together. 
A key part of NYC’s collaboration has been a program to prepare teachers in all schools for the implementation of common core state standards. New Visions for Public Schools has organized district and charter teachers to work together to create high-quality lessons that incorporate the standards. City educators will have easy access to lessons via a free online library. 
While these practices show promise, CRPE has seen and documented that district-charter collaboration is politically fragile, and smart cities reinforce the foundation of the work to withstand leadership transitions. NYC Collaborates’ work to connect teachers and leaders across the city and to daylight successful collaborations is one strategy to shore up such foundations. 
Why collaboration benefits children in NYC. 
New mayors of NYC and Boston have education at the top of their agendas
In Los Angeles, collaboration has led to improved options for students with disabilities and increased special education enrollment in charter schools.
Sacramento Unified is looking for a new superintendent to continue Compact work. 
Spring Branch ISD won state and national awards for financial transparency.
Did we miss some compact news in your city? If so, please send a link to Melissa Bowen and we’ll post it in our next compact newsletter. 

This CRPE brief describes successful initiatives in several Compact cities and highlights the advantages that portfolio district superintendents bring to collaboration.
Truth in Advertising
In this CRPE blog post, Robin Lake cautions that those who want to support portfolio efforts need to be skeptical of people who adopt the word without being serious about implementing the reform.
Center on Reinventing Public Education
Improving education through transformative, evidence-based ideas
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