Ohio's urban areas have changed tremendously in the last 40 years - population loss, job loss, poverty, and an erosion of the tax base. And yet our urban school districts are largely operating in the same way as they have since the 1950s.
There is a bold experiment underway in Cleveland, but an attempt at changing the paradigm is stalled in Columbus, and elsewhere it's business as usual despite a 50% drop in student enrollment, expanding options for families, chronic mobility among students, and a growing focus on results that is squarely aimed at addressing long-running deficiencies seen largely in urban schools.
Researcher and writer Andy Smarick, in his new book The Urban School System of the Future, proposes a replacement for the outdated school district which favors a combination of education reform models - charter schools, vouchers - and revamping of traditional districts with a new emphasis on parents and students, the reality of today's urban landscape, and an eye toward dramatically higher achievement.
In his book, Smarick explores mechanisms such as expansion and replication of great schools, closing persistently bad schools, continuously approving new programmatically-diverse schools, a city-wide chancellor overseeing all education sectors, and more.
We invite you to join the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and School Choice Ohio as Andy Smarick comes to Columbus to discuss his proposals and to answer your questions about how to move urban education into the future.
Register by September 10 and reserve your seat at the table!