Deborah, last week you asked a terrific question: " How come there are so few Tony Alvarados to start districts (as the East Harlem district which allowed educators to create new schools within schools), or unions like Boston's to initiate Pilots (within district options?)." I asked people around the country, including teacher union presidents, former teachers/school administrators, and district and/or charter educators. Here's what they said.


Today Deborah Meier and Joe Nathan continue their discussion about giving educators the ability to create new public schools. Deborah begins, and Joe responds.


Jim Bartholomew and Louise Sundin often do not agree on education issues. Bartholomew lobbies for the Minnesota Business Partnership, the state's largest corporations. Sundin is former president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and former American Federation of Teachers vice-president. Last week they agreed. They both supported a bill with bi-partisan support that Minnesota legislators are considering. The bill would provide startup funds, helping district public school teachers create "teacher led schools."


Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, explained "I'm deeply grateful" to people involved in the charter school movement. "Charters are an important part of the answer" to what American children, especially low income and children of color need. She also stressed the importance of effective district, as well as chartered public schools.


Deborah Meier and Joe Nathan discuss the complexities of choice and authority within the U.S. school system and how these concepts can be leveraged for better learning experiences for students.


The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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