Eliminating the Achievement Gap: A White Paper on How Charter Schools Can Help District Leaders
This white paper (the second in a series on portfolio districts from the Center on Reinventing Public Education) hits the traditional school district hard, asserting that, due to resource constraints and political shackles, it will never be able to make the big gains necessary to ease the achievement gap and ramp up student success. This is where the “portfolio district”—and charter schools—come into play. Charters, the authors argue, have shown the effectiveness of extended days (KIPP), parent involvement and school culture (YES Prep), and intensive professional development (Mastery Public Schools). Districts would be smart to join forces with these proven operators. Frustratingly, however, the paper’s concluding points have little to do with either charters or the achievement gap. Instead, the authors provide what reads like a twelve-step program for districts looking to get on the portfolio-district wagon. Step one: Acknowledge the problem. Step two: Agree that we have to try new things. And on, and on, and on.
Robin Lake and Alex Hernandez, “Eliminating the Achievement Gap: A White Paper on How Charter Schools Can Help District Leaders,” (Seattle, WA: Center on Reinventing Public Education, June 2011).
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