Erik Robelen’s piece in EdWeek on small schools research recaps and deepens what most of us realized a few years ago: converting big high schools into small ones without making them truly autonomous doesn’t necessarily get you very much, and there are tremendous pressures against autonomy in that kind of setting. That’s what the Gates folks learned the hard way. Etc. None of it worth noting except then it occurred to me that the highly-anticipated (though not quite done) breakup of Locke HS in LA into Green Dot schools is in many ways just the same thing, except that the small schools are going to be charters. Is that enough of a difference? The researcher I talked to yesterday said probably not. Have other places experimented with charter conversions? Not that I know of.
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