Archive | charters

Sputnik: Won’t Back Down – Union-bashing goes Hollywood

Sputnik - Advancing Education through Innovation and Evidence

At the recent Education Nation meetings, I saw the opening of “Won’t Back Down.” If you’ve seen the movie or the reviews, you’ll know that it’s about a plucky parent, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who organizes parents and teachers in a terrible school to invoke a “parent trigger” law to take over the school. The movie is controversial in large part because it presents the teachers’ union, which tries to prevent the takeover, as 100 percent evil, in a time when teachers and their unions are very much under assault. Continue Reading →


Peter Groff: Examining the next steps in the charter school evolution

Charter Schools

By Peter Groff, Johns Hopkins School of Education Visiting Fellow

American education changed dramatically in 1991 when two Democratic state legislators and a Republican Governor teamed to create a new process to educate Minnesota’s K-12 students. The process, which allowed public schools to receive charters to operate autonomous and innovative schools free from many bureaucratic regulations and rules in exchange for increased student achievement, has transformed public education.

Since the first charter school opened in Minnesota in 1992, the number nationwide has grown to almost 6,000, serving over 2 million students in 41 states plus the District of Columbia. Another 600,000 students are on waiting lists. At the present pace, it is estimated that the number of students will increase to 5 million by 2020, requiring 2,000 more schools. Continue Reading →


Sights and Sounds from the Henderson Hopkins Groundbreaking

The Banner for Henderson Hopkins

The Henderson Hopkins Banner, marking the site for the new school

On a sunny and warm Baltimore afternoon, the SOE celebrated the groundbreaking of the Henderson Hopkins School in East Baltimore with a street fair and visits from several local dignitaries, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Jack Young, Superintendent Andres Alonzo and JHU President Ron Daniels.

Students who will be attending the new school when it opens in 2013-14 jammed the street fair, which featured games and prizes as well as face-painting and educational exhibits as the sun set over Baltimore.

A selection of photos and videos from the event are available below, and much more will be posted when the official photographs come in later this week. Continue Reading →