The School Administrator

August Cover

August 2011 Number 7, Vol. 68The Charter MovementWhat's known about competitive effects, all-charter districts and the importance of autonomy?


  • Learning From Each Other


    This Gates Foundation official outlines five guiding principles that can lead charters and traditional public schools to create collaborative opportunities that benefit students.

    Similar Reading: Case Study: How a Compact Works in Hartford

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  • Shaking Up Public Schools With Competition


    The authors explore what research says about the impact of charter schools on improving outcomes for those who opt to remain in their traditional public schools.

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  • Autonomy and Flexibility in Charters


    Several locally authorized charter schools generate academic gains through their freedom to significantly alter staff development and school culture, according to a vice president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

    Similar Reading: All-Charter Status Brings Us Flexibility and More and 15 Years as an All-Charter District in California

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  • Debating Charter Schools: Why I Don't Support Charter Schools


    Proponents of charters constantly tout their educational effectiveness and superiority to the local public schools. In most cases, the research to support this claim is technically flawed or based on false assumptions. The author spent 17 years as a superintendent.

    Similar Reading: Robert Maranto’s Rebuttal

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  • Debating Charter Schools: Why I Like Charter Schools


    Traditional public schools fail to effectively teach the disadvantaged, argues the author, a college professor who has completed fieldwork in more than 50 charter schools and about two dozen traditional schools in various states.

    Similar Reading: Paul Hewitt’s Rebuttal

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  • The Two Rivers of Public Education


    Why, in the eyes of a former National Superintendent of the Year honoree, our representative democracy relies on public schooling to deliver on the development of both individualism (the entrepreneurial drive) and community (communal interests).

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Profile: Mary Alice Heuschel

    A Change Agent with 'Fierce Focus' by Liz Griffin

    Mary Alice Heuschel’s can-do thinking in Renton, Wash., garnered her attention earlier this year as one of four finalists for 2011 National Superintendent of the Year.

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    Board-Savvy Superintendent

    Let There Be Light by NICHOLAS D. CARUSO JR.

    As the CEO of what is usually the community’s largest public enterprise, you shouldn’t be spending time dealing with the “small stuff.” It’s one thing to set an example; it’s another to allow people to shun work they don’t feel like doing.

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    Immigration Status of Immersion School Faculty by JENNY ZANNER

    To staff a popular language immersion program, how does a school district recruit and retain native-speaker teachers who are not permanent residents or U.S. citizens?

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    Child Custody Considerations on School Grounds by MATT CARVER

    When school personnel fail to periodically review and follow custody court orders, they may add to the turmoil of a difficult situation for a student. Familiarity with pertinent legal considerations can prevent missteps.

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    President's Corner

    And So the Story Begins … by PATRICIA E. NEUDECKER

    A self-introduction and a story behind the unpronounceable name of her home community by the newly installed president of AASA.

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    Executive Perspective

    Charter Schools: Exception to the Rule by DANIEL A. DOMENECH

    While acknowledging the effective work of some charter schools, AASA’s executive director says we should not assume economically disadvantaged children can’t be educated well in traditional public schools.

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    Tech Leadership

    An Ethical Paradigm for Weighing Emerging Technologies by ALEXANDER (SANDY) MCDONALD

    How can school district leaders confidently make decisions regarding use of new software without becoming frozen in place by the desire to wait and see?

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    Guest Columns

    Parent Complaints: An Untapped Catalyst for Doing Better by CARLOS L. SMITH

    The author, a school district ombudsman, admits it took him about 30 years of work in public education to experience the “sobering, yet no-brainer epiphany” that complaints can lead to positive ends.

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    Starting the School Year Right by THOMAS R. GUSKEY

    As children return to school after summer break, their perceptions about school and about themselves as learners may be uncertain. It’s a new year with new teachers, new books, new classes, new schedules and new friends.

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    Our midsummer roundup of superintendents appointed to new posts and those retiring from service, as well as recent deaths in the profession.

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    AASA School Solutions

    How Do We Attain the Real ‘New Normal’? by SUHAIL A. FAROOQUI

    In a period of trying to do more with less in public education, the CEO of K12 Insight has some ideas for screening out vocal minorities who can sidetrack innovative responses.

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