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June 27, 2005

School Choice Report

The Congressional Research Service produces authoritative reports for Capitol.jpgCongress. The reports are not public but can be requested through your representative or senator, if you know what to ask for. Now a service makes these reports available and I recommend the first 10 pages of an excellent summary of all types of school choices ranging over: intra-district, inter-district, charter schools, tax subsidies, subsidies to private schools, school vouchers, and supplemental educational services. It also describes various types of federal assistance for school choice.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2005

New Schools Venture Fund

This new type of an organization, a nonprofit, describes their role as:New Schools Venture Fund.jpg

"NewSchools Venture Fundô believes that all children are entitled to an education that will serve them well in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.

... NewSchools stands alongside education, business, nonprofit, and policy leaders working to transform the K-12 public education system that exists today.

Our approach is powerful, unique and proven. We raise early-stage capital from institutional and individual donors, and we invest it in nonprofit and for-profit ventures led by promising education entrepreneurs who are creating high-quality, scalable solutions that address the most critical problems facing education. And, because education is complex and change-averse, we fortify our positions with thought leadership designed to foster an environment that is conducive to high performance and to real change."

Their website provides considerable background about their implementation.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2005

STARS Youth Organization

STARS which stands for Success, Teamwork, Achievement, Recognition, Self-esteem is a student MAAP Stars.jpg
organization formed by the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs. It's activities include two leadership conferences (about 1000 students) per year and Legislative Day where students attend meetings at the state Capital and meet personally with their representative and senators. This assures statewide coverage of issues concerning alternative education and makes passage of legislation much easier. STARS, an extraordinarily successful activity, has been replicated in other states, specifically Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.

STARS is such an important and powerful means for empowering youth that IALA provides special support to other states wanting to start a similar student organization. A board member, Wally Campbell who initiated STARS and helped other states, will help organizations form their own youth organization. Wally can be reached at 952-220-4145 or wallace247@aol.com. Contact him and his expertise will be made available.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2005

Educational Reform with Architecture

A striking new book, The Language of School Design: Design
Patterns for 21st-Century Schools
by Prakash Nair and Randall Fielding has been published by DesignShare. I've been waiting for this book during five decades of transforming "child factories" into places of dignity, community, meaning, and learning. This is a gorgeous book and you should obtain it from DesignShare or your bookseller.

The two web sites associated with the authors, DesignShare and Fielding Nair International are great source of information not only about innovative schools but also about school reform.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2005

California Organizations for Alternatives

California has several associations for educational alternatives. California.jpg
Their websites tell of conferences and resources. The main ones include:
*California Consortium for Independent Study:CCIS
*Court and Community Schools: JCCASAC
*Community Day School Network: CDS
*California Continuation Education Association: CCEA
*Educational Options Coordinating Council: EOCC
This last one encompasses all alternative education groups (about 13). It doesn't have a website but the contact can be reached at janetwk@aol.com.

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

Great Journals on Alternatives

Here are recommendations for two magazines for ideas on new approaches to education. Edutopia is a free, colorful journal from the George Lucas Foundation. Every issue is packed with examples of schools and practices to spark learning. The George Lucas Foundation provides many resources such as videos and DVDs to motivate change.

Reclaiming Youth.jpgReclaiming Children and Youth always amazes me. Their unique focus on new ways to serve high-needs youth establishes a different paradigm--often that of youth as a resource or as a person trying to do the right thing.

Both are excellent additions even with the load of reading and work we all do!

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)