March
20th 2009
Celebration Widespread for State Board Approval of First Innovation Schools

Posted under Denver & Elementary School & High School & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & innovation schools & Public Charter Schools & School Board & School Choice & State Board of Education

After a close vote Monday from the Denver Public Schools board, Manual High and Montclair Elementary found smooth sailing from the State Board of Education in their pursuit to become Colorado’s first “innovation schools”.

As Ed News Colorado explains, the vote in favor of the waiver request was unanimous — winning plaudits from both sides of the political aisle:

“I really think this is groundbreaking for Denver and groundbreaking for the state of Colorado,” said Elaine Gantz Berman, D-1st District, herself a former DPS board member.

“I’m hoping that this growing, positive trend finally gives the state the motivation it needs to realize that our schools are being crushed by rules, regulations and bureaucracy,” said board Chair Bob Schaffer, R-4th District.

My Education Policy Center friends at GoBash point out that this is no small request: Manual and Montview “received waivers from 40 state statutes, 32 district policies, and 18 collective bargaining agreement provisions”.

Also, another good point from Colorado Charters:

State Board Vice-Chair Randy DeHoff commended DPS for learning from their charter schools. Charter schools operate via waiver from state laws and district policies.

The only substantive difference between charter schools and “innovation schools” is that the latter still operate primarily under the oversight of a school district board rather than an independent board. But both education alternatives point to the importance of freedom and flexibility — and maybe the dawn of a new era.

To meet the needs of students and the choices of parents, let a thousand flowers bloom.

3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Celebration Widespread for State Board Approval of First Innovation Schools”

  1. Ed is Watching » A Glimpse at “New” Schools: Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment on 10 Aug 2009 at 11:05 am #

    [...] of the state’s first two Innovation Schools — as approved by the local school board and by the state board of education under the 2008 state law — and the only school to be recognized both as an Innovation School [...]

  2. Ed is Watching » Let’s Find an Answer to Honor the True Spirit of the Innovation Schools Act on 26 May 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    [...] last week, Colorado’s first three innovation schools (all based in the city of Denver — Manual High School, Montclair Elementary, & Cole Arts and Science Academy) have sought and received a formal legal opinion that school [...]

  3. Ed is Watching » Innovation and Autonomy Tie DeGrow’s New Op-Ed to State of the Union Address on 26 Jan 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    [...] Randolph in achieving greater autonomy by gaining approval under the Innovation Schools Act were Manual High School and Montclair Elementary in March 2009. Five months later came the Cole Arts and Science Academy. Another Denver school, [...]

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