Kentucky Tonight’s February 3, 2014 show was all about Charter Schools. The debate was cordial, but lively. Along the way, some “interesting” issues were raised.
Around 10-1/2 minutes into the show, host Bill Goodman asked about the difference between charter schools and Kentucky’s “Districts of Innovation.” The Districts of Innovation bill (House Bill 37) was enacted in 2012 as an attempt to deflect pressures from passing a real charter school bill.
Dr. Wayne Lewis responded to Goodman’s question this way:
“What Districts of Innovation does not do, however, is it does not allow for innovative practices to come into districts where districts have pressing, persistent, lingering problems that either they don’t have the will or the ability to really solve.”
Lewis makes a hugely important point. Districts of Innovation won’t help a bit in school systems where there is no interest or capability to solve problems. The program does nothing to bring in new staff, provides no enticement for new leadership. The Districts of Innovation program just tries to tweak the same, worn out school model that has hobbled Kentucky’s educational progress for decades.
Even worse, the initially limited interest in Districts of Innovation is sinking even further.
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