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May 01, 2014

The Quiet Revolution in D.C. Schools

Is it possible that Washington, D.C. -- the land of federal dysfunction, Michelle Rhee's scorched earth policies, and rampant school choice -- might actually become a national model for the ways we can reimagine public education for a changing world? Sam Chaltain considers the state of play.

November 21, 2013

D.C. Enrollment Plan Includes Common Form for Charters, Traditional Schools

Families are now able to apply to all district-run and most charter schools through a system that generates one single, best offer for each student.

August 22, 2013

Push For Charters Underway in Kentucky

Charter school teacher salaries in DC, a push to create charters in Kentucky, an audit of a Pa. charter school, and a critique of a charter school study topped headlines on the independent public school sector this week.

July 31, 2013

Games People Play in Modern School Reform

In DC, both traditional and charter schools are claiming victory after the latest round of test score data was released. Should they be? In the end, what can test scores tell us about whether schools are succeeding or failing -- and what should we be doing instead?

June 28, 2013

Title IX Complaint Filed Against D.C. Public Schools

A complaint has been filed with the federal government claiming the D.C. schools are failing to provide girls equal athletic opportunities.

April 11, 2013

In Modern School Reform, Is It We the People - Or Me the Individual?

In the latest chapter of A Year at Mission Hill, we see children and adults in repeated states of deliberation. Yet the art of deliberating -- or having long, careful conversations with other members of a community -- has been supplanted in recent years by our love of decisions. Sam Chaltain considers the costs of such a shift.

January 08, 2013

D.C. Charter Schools Expel Far More Students than Local District

In the last three school years, charter schools in Washington have expelled 676 students, compared to only 24 students expelled by DCPS.

October 08, 2007

The Central Office (II): Dysfunctionality's Cause or Symptom?

Unlike teachers unions, bureaucracies don't block district change strategies as a matter of deliberate policy, individual obstructionism is rare, and incompetent individuals can be removed if their managers make it a priority.

October 07, 2007

The Central Office (I): School Reform's Scapegoat

While there is no greater political sin than attacking teachers as a class, it's entirely acceptable to stereotype and demonize bureaucrats.

October 04, 2007

Michelle Rhee: What Kind of a Leader?

The DC public schools Chancellor needs a central office staff no less than she needs teachers and principals - two groups she's been careful to embrace although they bear as much responsibility for the system's failures as the scapegoats in the bureaucracy.


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