Education

‘Open Sector’

By Caroline Hendrie — November 23, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Ted Kolderie doesn’t just believe that state leaders are starting to think outside the proverbial box. He thinks they are beginning to throw that box out altogether and create whole new systems for educating the nation’s young people.

The book, “Creating the Capacity for Change,” can be viewed online from Education Evolving. ()

A longtime advocate of charter schooling, the St. Paul, Minn.-based public-policy expert is co-directing a project to promote what he calls an “open sector” within public education that includes but is not confined to chartering. To advance that vision, Mr. Kolderie has written a new book, aimed at state leaders, that proposes a novel but controversial “theory of action” to explain many of the innovative approaches being taken by states to improve public education.

Urging state leaders to expand such efforts, Mr. Kolderie says states are starting to realize that it is futile to command districts and schools to place student learning first, as long as those organizations lack the incentives and ability to do so. So, state leaders are experimenting with policies that make it easier for new and different forms of schooling to emerge, he says, thereby increasing the capacity for K-12 education to become “a self-improving institution.”

Besides identifying such trends, the book lays out an “action agenda” for states looking to hedge what Mr. Kolderie describes as a risky, “one bet” strategy of expecting existing schools and districts to improve quickly enough to meet the nation’s needs and satisfy the demands of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

That agenda includes taking a fresh look at academic standards; avoiding the trap of trying to run schools directly; and “withdrawing the district’s traditional exclusive on public education in the community and empowering other entities to create new schools.”

Other options he proposes are for states to convert school boards into entities that contract with others to run schools, and to set up independent state agencies to oversee the “open sector” in a manner that is “more flexible, more entrepreneurial, [and] more performance-oriented” than existing education departments.

A version of this article appeared in the November 24, 2004 edition of Education Week

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)