Greetings! I am a school board member in rural Maine. We are in a bad spot right now because of declining enrollments, and this year will begin the process of deciding to close a school. I have decided to try and convince my colleagues that instead of closing a school, we should pilot a school-wide program akin to the Rocketship Education model schools in California. My question is this: why is discussion of school-wide innovation so pervasive in the charter school context, and not in a district-wide context? Defenders of charter schools prize their independence from school districts, which I can understand if the school districts are traditional and stodgy. But wouldn't it be best to bring those innovations to ALL students -- not just the ones in the charter school? Why don't I read about challenging school boards INSTEAD of opening charter schools? I'm not trying to be antagonistic. I believe Maine law even prevents us from considering charter schools. I have originally thought that the charter school model exists to pilot programs, so that a case can be made for district-wide change, but now I'm seeing that the schools are ends to themselves. I just think this is too easy, that we have to move forward with the hard job of changing school practices for EVERY public school child. What am I missing here? I'm sure there's something. :) Lisa Cooley
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