Alternatives, the National Scene

Summit 1Dan 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 Education, WI Charter School Association, MN Association of Charter Schools, Association of Recovery Schools, Coalition for Charter School Management, Education Evolving, EdVisions Schools and MN Online Learning Alliance. David Bly, former MAAP President and current member of the MN House of Representatives also attended.

The purpose was to find common issues, explore ways to collaborate and impact state and federal legislation/policy. Organizations in the Coalition are currently ratifying the IALA Position Paper and the following Components of Innovative Education:

  1. A learning program that is “different” from traditional schools and/or “focused” on a specific theme
  2. A student-centered learning program using a variety of measures to assess student performance
  3. Staff at the site able to make decisions about all aspects of the school and control finances
  4. Staff at the site accountable for student performance results and fiscal responsibility
  5. Small size

The Coalition will add organizations from throughout the country to give learning alternatives a fuller voice. Contact Dan Daly at or 612-716-5620.

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