For most of the year I have been blogging about an idea for how small traditional independent school districts might weather the storm faced by disruptive innovation in education. If you have been following my blog you will have seen this idea grow into the presentation I posted a couple weeks ago outlining how schools could embrace disruption by allowing it to happen within their walls but on a very small scale. The idea basically is to take the ITV arrangement many small and rural schools have and use that structure to facilitate the creation of a partially virtual, high-tech, project-based, teacher run charter school that rents classroom space from local traditional schools. In this model the charter school and the traditional schools would form a symbiotic relationship where both working together would be able to offer high quality and diverse learning environments that neither would be able to offer on their own. The hope is that these two models working together would make public education attractive to more students and their families.
Well, the idea looks like it might be getting its wings. I have the green light to explore the idea seriously from the three local school districts. Now, this green light by no guarantees that this school will open by my target of 2010 but it does offer the opportunity to put some serious exploratory effort into it. I want to make clear to everyone that by no means will we submit our charter application this July unless we are relatively certain that this idea will improve our schools for all stakeholders.
We want to involve as many people as possible in this process. To do so I have set up a Ning. I invite anyone with an interest in progressive education, charter schools, project-based learning, education technology, alternative pedagogy, networked learning, or Minnesota schools to join this Ning and help us shape this charter. All feedback and contribution is needed and welcome.
Visit WETC Charter School Planners