Litigating Innovation: Charters & Choice Weekly News Roundup

By Arianna Prothero — May 29, 2015 2 min read
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The theme for this week’s Charters & Choice news roundup is innovation, and we start with this question: are charter schools obligated to be innovative?

That’s at the heart of a planned lawsuit in Florida. The Palm Beach County school district wants to stop a charter school chain from opening another campus on the grounds that it’s not offering anything unique from the district’s schools.

“They were supposed to be schools of innovation and not just of duplication,” Palm Beach County superintendent Wayne Gent told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. You can read the full story here.

Fostering innovation... A public-private partnership including charter, district, and private school leaders in Cincinnati aims to recruit talent to the city and help open new kinds of schools. The initiative mirrors another in Indianapolis. More from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Hannah Sparling.

Also in Indy... The school district and city charter schools are discussing the possibility of creating a single enrollment system for both sectors, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. This idea is still fairly new— pioneered by Denver and New Orleans in 2012. So far, only a handful of cities in the country have adopted these so called common or universal enrollment systems.

Spreading an urban enterprise: New Orleans ed. blogger Neerav Kingsland wants to know...

His hunch is that increasing school choice in suburban areas will need very different kinds of leaders than those that led the urban charter school movement and may not even involve charters at all. Rather, suburbia might be more fertile ground for vouchers. Details here.
And now for the kicker: From class to career... from farm-to-table? A farm-focused charter called Roots High School is opening up in West Valley, Utah. Kathy Stephenson writes for the Salt Lake Tribune that such a school makes sense at a time when there’s a lot of interest in agriculture and locally grown food:

While Roots should benefit from the trend, the idea of using the farm as a learning tool is nothing new. 'Farms have been turning out exceptional employees, public servants and leaders for thousands of years," said [Luke] Petersen, a Roots board member. "It used to be that everybody had a chance to be a part of a farm and had the opportunity to learn these life lessons that really span all disciplines.' "

If you have an idea for next week’s Charters & Choice news roundup, tweet it to me here or leave it in the comments section below.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.