The Third Way to District Success

April 10, 2015 by Chris Gabrielli, Co-Founder & Chairman of Empower Schools
Chris Gabrielli

Despite decades of effort at incremental and tactical improvement, American school districts serving primarily disadvantaged students have been unable to break out in scale. At the same time, the success of selected, highly autonomous charter schools serving overlapping student populations has led to interest in scaling that approach, even to the extent of replacing districts with networks of charters as in New Orleans.  But what about a third way where districts adopt the high autonomy and accountability framework for their own schools and for willing operator-partners by fundamentally changing the role of central office, driving resources and freedoms to individual schools and entering into thin collective bargaining agreements that also permit high flexibility at schools? Early evidence from success in Lawrence, MA where that strategy was taken has led to its spread in other districts in MA and interest in a number of places. What if just when many people are ready to throw in the towel on districts and unions, they decide to take this very different strategy and path? It’s too early to declare victory but there are considerable practical and political benefits of working with communities, elected and appointed leaders and unions instead of against them, of building on the best in existing educators in addition to welcoming next-gen operators rather than suggesting we cast out the old and replace it entirely with the new.

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Thanks for your interest in the Hot Lunch "The Third Way to District Success". The Donnell-Kay Foundation will contact you on April 03, 2015 to let you know if you are registered or on the waitlist.

The Third Way to District Success

The Donnell-Kay Foundation will then email you directly one week before the event (April 03, 2015) to let you know if you are registered or on the waitlist.