Fostering Innovation and Excellence

United States Department of Education
Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, Supporting Effective Charter Schools, Promoting Public School Choice

Next Generation Charter Schools: Meeting the Needs of Latinos and English Language Learners

by Melissa Lazarin and Feliza Ortiz-Licon, National Council of La Raza and the Center for American Progress, September 2010

This report considers the role that charter schools have in the education of Latinos and ELLs. Profiles of four high-performing charter schools that serve Latinos and ELLs help illuminate how state policies are put into practice. The profiles also display effective practices that have been picked up by school leaders who are familiar the Latino population in the charter school context. The lessons learned are valuable to teachers, charter school operators, and charter communities at large.

Supporting Effective Teaching Through Teacher Evaluation: A Study of Teacher Evaluation in Five Charter Schools

by Morgaen L. Donaldson with Heather G. Peske, The Center for American Progress, March 2010

This report examines the practices, procedures, and norms related to teacher evaluation in five charter schools. The study explores influences on and outcomes of teacher evaluation in the schools. The main section of the report explores how these charter schools conduct teacher evaluation and what it may mean to education.

Beyond Classroom Walls: Developing Innovative Work Roles for Teachers

by Julie Kowal and Dana Brinson, The Center for American Progress, April 2011

Across the country, interest is increasing in alternative approaches to school staffing that provide more flexible work roles and advancement opportunities for highly effective teachers so that the best teachers impact larger numbers of students. This study offers two examples of roles that charter's and other schools can pursue to open up and professionalize teachers' work, while revealing several critical limitations related to design and implementation that the next generation of innovators should heed.

Expanded Learning Opportunities: A More Comprehensive Approach to Preparing High School Students for College and a Career

Alliance for Excellent Education, August 2011
Expanded learning time is a hot button issue; however, attention too often focuses on the elementary and middle school years, rather than high school level students. This issue brief discusses expanded learning time opportunities for secondary students. Independent charter school leaders should consider expanding learning time beyond the traditional school day, look beyond the traditional school walls for educational opportunities, promote mentorships and relationships with successful adults, and create "inquiry-led" work that is relevant to the student's life and workforce.

Lightening the Load: A Look at Four Ways Community Schools Can Support Effective Teaching

Theodora Chang, Calyssa Lawyer, Center for American Progress, 2012
This report examines the practices of 14 schools across the country that provides "wraparound services" to children and their families and the relationship to teacher efficacy. The authors recommend a set of practices for schools so that teachers and students alike benefit

Network of Independent Charter Schools, A Project of the Center for Educational Innovation - Public Education Association (CEI-PEA)
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