USED Parental Options/Information Conference

Blogging today from USED’s conference for the office of parental options and information, which includes charter schools.  I was on a plenary panel with sharp folks from Green Dot and AUSL.  We discussed a ton of stuff, but there was remarkable consensus on the following items:

1) Community engagement – engaging the community early and often in the turnaround process is critical.  It’s impossible to over-communicate change.

2) Planning, planning, planning – ideally, turnaround operators should have a full year of planning (Year 0), and even before that, they should be readying themselves for that planning year.  Yes, that’s right … planning for the planning.

3) Strong relationships with districts – turnaround at scale will require the witting participation of districts in the process.  States and the federal government should do everything they can to make it easier for districts to make hard choices.

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2 Responses to USED Parental Options/Information Conference

  1. Mike McMahon says:

    As long your plan is about creating a working local model for change, I would with step two. In this complex, interrelated world, I agree with Michael Fullan that is more important to focus leading the change process than creating a plan.

  2. L. Howell says:

    Now, we are focusing on the hard work. Change. I am involved neck deep with a turnaround effort in the Houston area, and what we tend to see is a highly political, and almost spineless approach to confronting community members and the politically entrenched. To be sure, when people talk about “creating scale” it is more about having competent and confident people to lead, design and facilitate and manage change catered to the unique characteristics of each school district. Exciting discussion!

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