Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust)

[The CEE - Trust Times]


This is Tennessee month here at CEE-Trust. We're excited to welcome our newest member - the Tennessee Charter School Incubator (see their profile on our website). Greg Thompson and Justin Testerman of TCSI have been participating in the CEE-Trust Charter Incubation Working Group since its launch over a year ago so it's a natural extension for them to join in as an official member of CEE-Trust now. Welcome gents! 

In addition, we interview Wendy Tucker, Senior Adviser on Education to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Mayor Dean was one of the early champions of the TCSI so we thought it'd be a great time to catch up with Wendy and learn more about the Mayor's work driving education reform in the Music City.

Here at CEE-Trust we're looking forward taking our Next Gen Learning Working Group on a site visit to blended learning schools in California next month, and convening our Charter Incubation Working Group to discuss different approaches to leadership training.

I know many of you will be out in CA next week for the New Schools Venture Fund Summit; hope to see you there!


All the best, 



Vice-President and Director of CEE-Trust

The Mind Trust




[Member Spotlight]


Office of the Mayor - Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County 



We're happy to welcome Wendy Tucker to the CEE-Trust network!  Wendy is the new Senior Adviser on Education for Mayor Karl Dean, Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.  We asked Wendy to give us a quick run-down of important updates and initiatives from Mayor Dean's office.


What are a few of Mayor Dean's greatest achievements and initiatives in K-12 reform?

The Mayor's most significant achievements include bringing Teach For America and The New Teachers Project to Nashville, championing inclusive practices for students with disabilities, the Limitless Libraries initiative (bringing access to our nationally renowned public library into the public school libraries), raising funds to create the Tennessee Charter School Incubator, championing charter school legislation reform to make Nashville a magnet for national charter management organizations, increasing dual enrollment opportunities, and creating a truancy center to decrease truancy and assist families in addressing reasons behind truancy.


What are the Mayor's current highest priorities?

Continued improvement of the quality of education for all students, increased choice for families in the form of charter school and open enrollment opportunities, increasing graduation rates and college entrance and completion rates (initiatives include new Scholars Academy- intense summer and school year program for rising 9th graders that will expand to all grades over next 4 years), increased teacher effectiveness, the new Music Makes Us initiative (overhauling music curriculum and engaging music industry and community to make Music City's music curriculum a collaborative effort that will be the best music program in the country).


What challenges have you faced/will you face in advancing the reform conversation in Nashville?

Budget constraints in difficult economic times,  ensuring that families are engaged in the reform efforts, and charter facility challenges.


How can CEE-Trust and its members be most helpful in your work?

CEE-Trust can continue to be a source of support and ongoing education in different reform methods and opportunities.


[Updates from Members and Friends] 



Conversation Continues Around The Mind Trust's Opportunity Schools Plan

The discussion continues about how to restructure Indianapolis' largest school district as The Mind Trust's plan, "Creating Opportunity Schools: A Bold Plan to Transform Indianapolis Public Schools," continues to make headlines. Last week, Superintendent Dr. Eugene White and the IPS district released a 31-page formal response to The Mind Trust's 160-page plan. 


Click here for an editorial on the IPS response that appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal, and here for a column in Sunday's Indianapolis Star by The Mind Trust's CEO, David Harris. Read another editorial from the Indianapolis Star here, and a column from the Indy Star's Matthew Tully here. Last, listen to a recent follow-up interview with Dr. White on Amos Brown's popular radio show, "The Light."   



RIMA CEO Mike Magee Writes Opinion Piece for GoLocal Providence; Announces Positive Gains in NECAP Scores for Blackstone Valley Prep 

Mike Magee, the CEO of Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, says it's time to put aside politics and start focusing on improving outcomes for kids across the state.  In an April 14th article, entitled "Save Rhode Island: Do the Math," Magee calls attention to Rhode Island's dismal math scores on the October NECAP test, connecting the poor performance of the state's 11th graders to a much larger problem: the lack of STEM-focused education.  


"We hear more about STEM every day, and yet the rhetoric is not matching our practices. With the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, persistent in a way that defies the recovery of neighboring states, Rhode Island simply must adopt bold and proven educational strategies to improve outcomes for our kids," Magee writes.


On a related and more positive note, Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP), a Rhode Island Mayoral Academy Middle School located in Cumberland, RI is being applauded for their scores on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) test.  NECAP teaching year data revealed that 86 percent of BVP 6th graders scored proficient or better in English Language Arts (ELA) while 89 percent of the 6th graders scored proficient or better in math.  When compared to the results from their 5th grade year, these 6th graders have shown a 25 percent growth in ELA and 48 percent growth in math over just one year. 


In a recent press release, Magee states, "We're so proud to be a small part of this amazing success. We are confident that Blackstone Valley Mayoral Academies will continue to enjoy more significant growth in the years ahead."



Donnell-Kay Foundation Concludes Day Two of Colorado Summit on Blended Learning

Tuesday, April 24th marked the second day for Donnell-Kay's 3rd Annual Colorado Summit on Blended Learning.  The event was titled "Quality Blended Learning Classrooms: Professional Development, Teacher Certification & District Support," and featured several Colorado-based administrators and Felicia Ryerson, Chief Learning Officer, Florida Virtual School as presenters.  Click here for the full agenda. 

 To allow for more intimate, focused conversations, this year's summit is taking place over three separate days: March 22, April 24, and May 17. If you'd like to tune in for day three, the summit will be available live via webinar from a link on DK's website.  The May agenda includes David Teeter, Policy Director for iNACOL; Howard Stephenson, Utah State Senator, who will talk about that state's implementation of its online learning law; and Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner at the New Hampshire Department of Education, who will focus on the shift to competency-based standards in NH.



Fast Company Profiles New Orleans as the "Silicon Bayou"

Fast Company featured New Orleans in a recent piece entitled, "Why the next great ideas will come from New Orleans."  The article describes the atmosphere in New Orleans as one "ripe for testing new educational ideas," citing the fact that over 70 percent of New Orleans schoolchildren attend charter schools.  The article also introduced 4.0 Schools, a nonprofit incubator founded in December of 2010 that runs four-day intensives, book clubs, unconferences, and other programs to turn teachers and others with a passion for education into for-profit or nonprofit entrepreneurs with solutions.


Matt Candler, a founder of New Schools for New Orleans who is now CEO of 4.0 Schools, was interviewed in the piece, stating "If you're an edtech entrepreneur who wants to pilot an idea, you have the most efficient and smartest market in the country here."  Access the full article here



Fordham Institute Releases Report: How School Districts Can Stretch the School Dollar

The Washington D.C.-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute recently released a policy brief for districts coping with tight budgets.  The brief provides a useful tool for navigating the financial challenges of the current school-funding climate, complete with clear do's and dont's for anyone involved in or concerned with local education budgets. It can be downloaded here.


In other Fordham-related news, on April 19th, the Institute hosted a Fordham LIVE! event entitled "Education Reform for the Digital Era."  The 90-minute event featured governance expertise from the Hoover Institution's John Chubb, insights into teaching's future from Bryan Hassel of Public Impact, analysis of the costs of online learning from the Parthenon Group's Eleanor Laurans, and the cautionary perspective of Emory University's Mark Bauerlein.  Watch the full webcast here.



[Job Postings]


Arizona Charter Schools Association Fellowship 

Applications are now available for the Aspiring Leaders Fellowship, a new program designed for leaders interested in starting effective charter schools.  Click here for the press release or read more on ACSA's website.


Donnell-Kay Foundation Fellowship

DK has established a paid fellowship program for smart, passionate, and reform-minded individuals committed to improving public education in the state of Colorado. We seek emerging leaders who will actively contribute to our mission of providing solid research, creative dialogue, and critical thinking in the education arena. The call for Fall applications is currently open. The position is open until filled, though applications are due no later than June 15, 2012.

Teaching Trust - Director of Leadership Facilitation

The Teaching Trust seeks an experienced, successful school leader or leadership coach that is dedicated to the mission of attracting and preparing the next generation of outstanding school leaders. Learn more here.


Acton Education Innovation Challenge

Do you have what it takes to make it to the top?  We'll help you prove you have the "right stuff" by giving you real-world problems to overcome-with a top education disruptor and thought leader as your Guide.  By the end of the Challenge, you'll have the skills, frameworks, and relationships to leap to the next level.  Find out more and start your application by clicking here. 


*If you would like to submit stories or updates for future CEE-Trust newsletters, please contact Kye Hawkins, CEE-Trust Associate, at:  Thank you for reading!