How Governments Abuse and Neglect Kids

Published by — Once again, adults battling to force cutbacks in charter schools are ignoring what’s best for students. When still young and blissfully naive, I was appointed to the Providence School Board.  I was sure my clever, well-informed interview with the outgoing Mayor had knocked it out of the park.  I later discovered IContinue reading “How Governments Abuse and Neglect Kids”

Unintended Segregation in Schools of Last Resort

Published by — Charter schools can be great for the kids who get in, but what about the kids who don’t? An odd clatter of wheelchairs and colorful walking supports accompanies a little convoy of physically-challenged middle-school students heading to lunch.  Blind kids find their way using sticks with tennis balls on the end.  Others, quiteContinue reading “Unintended Segregation in Schools of Last Resort”

The First School District to Put Itself Out of Business

Published by — Nowhere in America has a school system leaped forward so fast.  Apparently, it takes a hurricane to inspire that much responsiveness to kids. In 2003, Louisiana’s state department of education created the Recovery School District (RSD).  New Orleans’s schools were among the worst in the country, so the state asked the RSDContinue reading “The First School District to Put Itself Out of Business”

Expeditionary Learning – Journeying Through Compelling Content

Published by — Expeditionary Learning is a project-based educational approach that takes students on intellectual voyages. Open since 2010, Greene Charter School in West Greenwich, RI, is one of a network of a large and growing network of “Expeditionary Learning” (EL) schools. “Expeditionary learning” sounds deliciously exotic, like maybe what Marco Polo was doing or Dr. Livingston onContinue reading “Expeditionary Learning – Journeying Through Compelling Content”

Determined Parents Start A School For Atypical Kids

Published by — The schools available to these parents’ kids were maddeningly non-responsive. Dr. Amy Pratt looks me dead in the eye when she says, “The Greene Charter School would not exist if it weren’t for me and the parents.”  Christa Andrews, another co-founding-Board member of Greene, looks a little exhausted from it all, butContinue reading “Determined Parents Start A School For Atypical Kids”

‘Our School Culture Kicks Butt’

Published by — “The kids can tell we’re setting them up for success.” Like many urban teens, Jessica Coello was obviously smart and capable, but totally turned off from school.  When she was in grade, thinking about high school, someone suggested she visit Blackstone Academy Charter School — recently recognized as 1 of 12 schools “Commended”Continue reading “‘Our School Culture Kicks Butt’”

A Struggling Urban School District Turns to Charters for Help

Published By — In an unusual move, the Providence School District invites charters in to pitch their strategies. The windowless basement meeting room buzzed with excited, nervous chatter.  Rival schools were about to sit down to get to know one another, rather intimately. Nine schools in the Providence School District have agreed to consider converting to charterContinue reading “A Struggling Urban School District Turns to Charters for Help”

Advanced Math & Science Charter School, Part II

Published by — Part II on the AMSA Charter School examines how the school can promise every student will become advanced. When Jay Sweeney joined the staff at the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA), he was the only non-Russian in the math department. The school is in the middle of Massachusetts, so huh? NowContinue reading “Advanced Math & Science Charter School, Part II”