The Center for School Change works at the school, community, and policy levels to increase student achievement, raise graduation rates, improve student attitudes, and to strengthen communities. To accomplish these goals we lead or assist in many activities, working with educators, parents, business people, students, policy-makers and other concerned people throughout the United States.
The following are a list of some past activities we have lead or participated in to accomplish our goals:
- In 1985 helped to write the original Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Legislation in MN; then helped to expand the law to include 10th graders in 2012, helped convince legislators in 2014 to require that districts provide “up to date”information about PSEO to students grades 8-11 and their families, helped convince 2017 Minnesota legislature to require that school districts provide computers, software and space for students to take on-line PSEO courses
- Helped convince Minnesota legislature to double funding to support College in the Schools/concurrent enrollment courses offered in high schools, from $2 million to $4 million per year.
- Helped convince Minnesota legislature in 2016 to allocate $500,000 to help district educators to create new “teacher powered/teacher led” public schools.
- Help successfully challenge the NCAA in a 3 year battle over appropriate course work for college bound students
- Appeared on more than 400 television and radio programs, including “The Today Show”, “ABC Nightly News,” “Good Morning America”, “McNeil/Lehrer News Hour”
- With assistance from Minnesota Department of Education and US Department of Education, helped produce 17 You-Tube Videos on the value of Dual (High School/College) credit courses
- Invited by ECM/Sun/Current newspaper group to write twice a month columns (that reach up to 650,000 families/week). From 1989 to 2004, wrote weekly columns for the St. Paul Pioneer Press
- During our more than 25 years of working to improve education, we have received over $30 million in grant funding from the Annenberg, Bigelow, Blandin, Bradley, Otto Bremer, Carnegie, Cargill, Carlson, Frey Family, Bill and Melinda Gates, General Mills, Minneapolis, Joyce, Peters, Pohlad, St. Paul, Securian, Travelers, Wallin and Walton Foundations, and also from the Minnesota and U.S. Departments of Education
- Had more than 1,500 newspaper columns published by a variety of papers, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Detroit News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sacramento Bee, plus a number of “on-line sites” including Huffington Post, MinnPost, TC Daily Planet, Education News and Education Views
The following are examples of some of the measurable outcomes that have been produced as a result of our projects and collaborations:
- Directed a project in which Cincinnati (district) Public Schools increased overall high school graduation rates by more than 25 points, and eliminated the graduation gap between white and African American students. More information on that project here.
- Provided information that helped inform the nation’s first charter law in 1992 Have continued to help refine, improve and strengthen the law. As of 2017, Minnesota has more than 160 charter schools enrolling over 50,000 MN students.
- More than 20 state legislatures and several Congressional Committees have asked CSC to testify about the charter idea.
- Worked with National Governors Association, state governors and their staff to help refine/strengthen charter legislation in 15 states from Hawaii to Maine.
- With support from Otto Bremer, Frey, Morning, and St. Paul Foundations, worked with 4 St Paul district and 2 St. Paul chartered public schools to produce a more than 400% increase in dual credit enrollment. More than 2/3 of participants were students of color and more than 70% are students from low income families. More details in “completed projects” section of this website.
- With support from Cargill, over a two-year period, helped 11 Minneapolis district and charter schools show “above average” gains in reading, math and family involvement
- Worked with Target, Minneapolis and St. Paul district & charter public schools to distribute more than 2,000 books to families, along with information about the value of reading with/to young children