We work to turn public education into a self-improving system, where learning is student-centered, teachers lead the learning, and policy opens to these innovations.

Recent Blog Posts

Authorizer Ranks Thin as State Plays More Active Role May 12, 2016

From 50 authorizers in 2009, to 24 today: Why the drop in organizations willing to serve this critical role, and what does the drop mean for the future of chartering in Minnesota?

Chartering after 25 years April 11, 2016

MN was first to approve school chartering as a strategy for improving public education—this less regulated sector was to provide a space to try innovative strategies for teaching, learning and school organization. Now, 25 years in, we thought it helpful to provide a 10,000-foot overview of the sector today.

Now comes the hard part: next steps with the charter integration lawsuit April 1, 2016

In the aftermath of the knockdown of the proposed rule that would have swept charter schools into the regulations on desegregation, it would be easy for the chartered sector to breathe relief—consider the matter closed. That would be wrong.

MDE’s attempt to pull charter schools under its integration rules rejected March 29, 2016

Charter school advocates were relieved this week after an administrative law judge confirmed that attempts at regulation exceeded the executive branch's authority.

Recent Publications

Our Working Definition of Student Achievement and School Quality Memo · May 2016

Having good definitions of the terms "student achievement" and "school quality" is important in our nation's quest to improve public education. But the two terms are often defined too simply, too narrowly, too controversially. This working memo puts forth our own deeper and broader definitions of these two important terms.

District Public Schools + Chartered Public Schools Memo · March 2016

Public education now has two sectors: a district sector and a chartered sector. Chartering—and this two-sector arrangement in general—needs to be thought of as a strategy for change, not just a set of schools. Given flexibility, the chartered sector can and does generate the needed innovation, the necessary improvements in learning.

Reimagining Teacher Preparation: An Invitation to Create New Programs for Changing Teacher Roles Report · October 2015

Teaching is the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes. And a central part of the strategy for improving teaching involves better teacher preparation. With this report, we present our own contribution to that effort: we highlight essential elements and best practices for a new, different, and we believe better, teacher preparation program.

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Spring at our headquarters in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Photo credit.

Theory of Change

Learning
Is Student-
Centered
+
Teachers
Lead the
Learning
+
Policy
Opens to
Innovation
View the Theory