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Charter Schools Turn 20. It’s Time for Teacher Voice

August 28, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: The Century Foundation TOPICS: Education, Improving Access to Quality Public Schools, A Smarter Charter

One of the keys to building quality charter schools: finding ways to tap into teachers’ expertise by giving them a voice in school governance. Guest writer Talmadge Nardi, a charter school teacher in Massachusetts, has the full story.

Tags: teacher voice, talmadge nardi, smarter charter series, academy of the pacific rim charter public school

Big Lessons on Charter Schools from the Smallest State

Rhode Island may be small, but we can learn a lot from its experiment with diverse charter schools. TCF fellow Halley Potter profiles Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy in the latest entry in TCF’s smarter charter series.

Tags: smarter charter series, rhode island, diversity, diverse charter schools, blackstone valley prep mayoral academy

Diverse Charter School Opens in Nashville

Members of Valor Collegiate Academy's inaugural fifth grade class. Photo credit: Valor Collegiate Academy.

A new charter school opened up in Nashville, TN earlier this month. TCF education intern Mercedes Gonzales writes that Valor’s innovative new model “incorporates an impressive mix of racial and socioeconomic diversity—as well as ambitious academic goals—at the heart of its strategic plan.”

Tags: valor collegiate academy, tom dickson, socioeconomic integration, socioeconomic diversity, smarter charter series, richard kahlenberg, nashville, lauren hayes, halley potter

A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education

By Richard D. Kahlenberg, Halley Potter

TOPICS: Education, Improving Access to Quality Public Schools, A Smarter Charter

Moving beyond the debate over whether or not charter schools should exist, A Smarter Charter wrestles with the question of what kind of charter schools we should encourage.

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An Exciting Opportunity to Integrate Montgomery County Schools

TCF fellow, Richard D. Kahlenberg writes about school integration in Montgomery County MD, for the MoCo Ed Blog

Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education was decided, the issue of school integration is once again back on the agenda for Montgomery County public schools.

In April, the County Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight issued a disturbing report showing that racial and economic achievement gaps are growing and segregation is rising. But tucked into the report was the hopeful finding that low-income students in lower-poverty schools perform better than low-income students stuck in high-poverty schools.

Read the full article.

Tags: schools, school integration, educational inequality, educational diversity

Blowing Our Diversity Advantage

TCF fellow, Richard Kahlenberg, has co-authored an article about the persistence of racial segregation in our public schools, for the Huffington Post.

As we mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we are glad to see renewed interest in the issue of segregation, but discouraged about our societal failure to tackle it. Indeed, we have both recently written about the persistence of racial segregation in our public schools, and about the pernicious effects of associated concentrated poverty. BBA and EPI document the segregation of black and Hispanic children in high-poverty kindergarten classrooms. And Kahlenberg has written about new efforts to reinvigorate Brown by emphasizing socioeconomic integration through public school choice.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of this segregation is the waste of a precious American resource, one that could offer our children an important advantage over their peers in many other countries: diversity. We continue, for the most part, to treat the multiple languages spoken in schools from Los Angeles to Minneapolis as only a challenge for teachers, rather than the learning opportunity it could represent for classmates. We see only deficits for children who grow up in very challenging circumstances, rather than finding creative ways to help them share with their peers the resilience and creativity gained through those experiences.

Read the full article.

Tags: segregation, racial wealth gap, racial inequality, racial income gap, racial diversity




Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.

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