Category Archives: Choices

Videos of New Types of Schools

A ten part set of short videos (about ten minutes each) describe Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston, an elementary school founded by Deborah Meier. The school a part of the Boston public school has greater decision making authority as a “pilot” school and emphasizes democratic principles. The video series, A Year at Mission Hill […]

50 Unique Colleges

Start Building Your Unique Future is a website helping students determine higher education options. Their 50 Unique Colleges Every Non-Traditional Student Should Consider lists an an exciting group of universities with descriptions and links. These include Evergreen State College, College of the Atlantic, Goucher College, Naropa University, Antioch College and 45 more including online colleges. […]

Australia Choices Study

Learning Choices: A Map for the Future, a comprehensive national report, describes the existing education choices in Australia for secondary age youth. It pulls together existing research and evidence, summarizes data and findings, identifies gaps in knowledge and offers recommendations. The report includes a valuable resource of other research on Australian alternative education. This is […]

Institute for Democratic Education in America

A fairly new organization the, Institute for Democratic Education in America identifies critical areas for learning that “equip every human being to participate fully in a healthy democracy.” Their website urges reinventing education strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably. It offers examples, links, definitions, invitations to become involved and a host of resources. Clearly, an up-and-coming organization […]

School Choice Necessary for Education

The Brown Center on Education at Brookings published a system for ranking school districts on how much choice of educational programs is afforded children. They argue that options are necessary  and valuable in an article and short video. Their rank of 25 large cities on 13 criteria ranges from grades B to D.  Their booklet Expanding […]

Leaders Affirm the Importance of Choice

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) and the US Department of Education assembled leaders from 20 of the largest school district for a discussion of providing choices. Their report Reforming Districts Through Choice, Autonomy, Equity, and Accountability: An Overview of the Voluntary Public School Choice Directors Meeting strongly affirmed the importance of providing learning alternatives […]

Urgent to: Educational Alternatives Supporters

The International Association for Learning Alternatives (IALA) has shifted its focus from conferences to policy advocacy with a Position Paper outlining broad concepts to advance educational alternatives. The National Association for Alternative Education (NAEA) has recently endorsed the IALA Position Paper as have several state associations. NAEA is a growing membership organization that holds an […]

Research on School Choice

The National Center on School Choice conducts scholarly research on school choice including such topics as: charter schools, magnet schools, voucher programs, private schools and inter/intra distict choice. The center located at Vanderbilt University is funded ($13.5 million) by the USDE Institute of Education Sciences since 2004 with partners among others at Brown, Harvard, Indiana, Notre Dame and Stanford […]

Linda Darling-Hammond on Choice

In her new book The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Multicultural Education) Linda Darling-Hammond share her views on how schools can be improved for all students from all backgrounds.  She poignantly describes what the United States needs to do in order to build a stronger, more equitable educational […]

Alternatives, the National Scene

Dan Daly, executive director of IALA wrote recently of the organization’s efforts to impact state and national policy: This past June, IALA hosted the Tri-State Alternatives Leadership Summit in Bloomington and formed The IALA Coalition for Innovative Education. Leaders from the following ten organizations participated; IALA, MN Association of Alternative Programs, IA Association of Alternative […]

Gardner, Advocate for Educational Pluralism

Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard and well known for his books including Multiple Intelligences and Five Minds for the Future, writes of the importance of a variety of educational programs to fit different students. In a recent article, he writes that after studying various approaches such as Reggio Emilia (a program he particularly […]

New Book Blames Students

Bad Students Not Bad Schools by Robert Weissberg, U of Illinois professor emeritus of political science, is a throwback to highly traditional education when principals exercised the power to throw kids out. This easy read, colorfully written with a degree of exaggeration, ultimately lapses in frustration at how to fix schools. Several chapters describe the failures of many […]

Alternative Education Course

Here is an opportunity for anyone interested in 3 semester hours of graduate credit on the topic of alternative education from an expert. For about a decade Roy Weaver served as editor of Changing Schools (national journal of alternative education for 20 years) and organized alternative education conferences during the late 1970s and 1980s. The course is offered entirely online and […]

Blueprint School

I’ve waited for years for this marvelous book, Lives of Passion, School of Hope: How One Public School Ignites a Lifelong Love of Learning. It tells a story of a K-12 progressive school (Jefferson County Open School, Colorado) that combined the best features from research and practice such as: strong advisory system, personal learning plan, […]

Cell Phones in the Classroom?

In a recent article in Principal Leadership, October 2009, the principal of a large high school discussed the use of cell phones at school.  She was using cell phones to text with her students as another way to increase communication.  She stated that texting helped student report things like fights and other personal issues that […]