“What will happen when school districts go bankrupt or are taken over by the state?” a community organizer asked. He was contemplating future scenarios with combinations of increasing charter school market share, decreasing state and local financial support, and persistent academic failure.

Paul Hill has spent more than 15 years thinking about post school district governance beginning with a seminal work Reinventing Public Education (which became the name of his center at the University of Washington) followed by Fixing Urban Schools and It Takes a City. He takes serious the challenge Doing Choice Right.

In a fully charterized system, a local community council could devote itself to the important portfolio questions, “What kind of schools do our children need? What kind of schools would best leverage our community assets?”

Tough Choice or Tough Times from NCEE offers a similar and well-conceived blue print for a post school district world.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


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