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Charter Board Partners

Reinventing America’s Schools

September 18, 2017 | by Charter Board Partners

Cover image of David Osborne's book, Reinventing America's Schools

Dramatic improvements and systemic transformation are taking place in urban public education, in cities as different as New Orleans, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Indianapolis. Reinventing America’s Schools: Creating a 21st Century Education System, a new book by the Progressive Policy Institute’s David Osborne, is the story of that transformation.

Osborne quotes CBP Co-Founder and CEO Carrie Irvin in the chapter about Washington, DC, and Charter Board Partners' work is cited as an important part of the ecosystem that grew up in DC to support the development of a high-quality charter school sector. Osborne draws on CBP's work as an example of the focus on quality and accountability that is critical if systemic transformation is going to result in high-performing schools.  

He writes, "We also must build the capacity of school governing boards.... They are often a weak link in the charter chain. We need training programs for members of boards, and authorizers need to pay more attention to the quality and mix of skills on their charter school boards."

This is a message CBP has been sharing for years. In an interview with The 74 Million about the book, Carrie said: "I always say good governance is the HVAC of school reform. You don't see it when the building's done, but if it doesn't work, it's very uncomfortable and actually eventually threatens the whole project. Boards need to be strong, diverse, committed, focused on equity and quality and willing to do what it takes to hold that school accountable for providing the education that every single child in every single classroom in that school deserves. Governance is not the sexiest or most exciting part of education reform, but without it, we risk creating a bunch of shooting stars."

Osborne distills lessons learned from the four cities he examines, and offers a recipe for redesigning education in the U.S. and the policy changes necessary to make that happen. He is also embarking on a 24-city tour to discuss the book with education leaders, including the four cities examined in the book. Carrie joined Osborne for a standing-room only launch event in Washington, DC, and CBP will participate in events in New Orleans, Denver, and Indianapolis, as well.

You can learn more about the book at The 74 Million, which has partnered with Osborne to share the book’s findings and recommendations widely. Read about Carrie’s role in the section on Washington, DC, schools.

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