Transforming Public Education features nineteen cases that profile entrepreneurs who are pursuing opportunities to create pattern-breaking social change in our public schools.
For nearly two decades, education entrepreneurs have been working to transform the K–12 public education system in the United States. “Social entrepreneurship” has become part of the language of a new generation of idealists, many of whom are focused on education. The nineteen cases in this book profile entrepreneurs who are pursuing opportunities to create pattern-breaking social change in our public schools—in particular, by creating high-quality educational opportunities for low-income and minority students who are dramatically underserved by the current public education system.
Based on a popular course developed and taught at the Harvard Business School, this casebook is organized into four modules:
Understanding the Context of Urban Schooling in the United States
Tackling the “People Problem”
Focusing on Performance
Launching and Growing New Schools
Students are invited to explore four overarching questions: Why are there opportunities for entrepreneurs in a sector that is funded with public dollars and delivered by public agencies? Why is entrepreneurial activity aggregating around certain opportunities? What are the possibilities and constraints faced by entrepreneurs in each opportunity area? How can we evaluate the impact of these entrepreneurs’ efforts?
This timely volume provides invaluable insight into the opportunities, challenges, and lessons of entrepreneurial reform. Stacey Childress offers engrossing, up-close looks at acclaimed entrepreneurs like KIPP, Teach For America, and Wireless Generation as well as at cutting-edge districts. This is essential reading for actual and aspiring entrepreneurs and those who work with them. — Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute, and author of Education Unbound
For the past decade, Stacey Childress has taught the quintessential course in education entrepreneurship at Harvard. With the release of this incredible case book and the accompanying instructor’s guide, she is offering an enormous gift to the field. These volumes provide a powerful intellectual framework for a series of carefully selected cases that illustrate the key strategic, leadership and operating issues, challenges, and opportunities these important change agents face in trying to transform public education. Childress’s teaching notes are worth their weight in gold, providing a rich and nuanced context for the work, scaffolded teaching advice, and the insights of a truly gifted instructor on the art of case method questioning and facilitation. — Kim Smith, founder, NewSchools Venture Fund
A powerful toolkit for understanding social entrepreneurs and the challenges they face. Childress has compiled a rich set of case studies and nested them in the context of education today. This book should be on the shelf of anyone who wants to understand or participate in these ventures. — Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder, Education Sector and author of Eduwonk.com
This book of cases is the best source on innovation in K-12 education. No other source makes it so clear that school improvement comes from hard thinking and open-minded problem solving, not ideological warfare. — Paul T. Hill, John and Marguerite Corbally Professor, and director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington Bothell