Select Page

Resources

SW Colorado Learning Collaborative receives $3.6 million to help students interested in building trades, environmental science

Fort Lewis College, Pueblo Community College Southwest and five regional school districts have received $3.6 million in state funds for a partnership to pool resources to build stronger educational pathways for people interested in building ...

State awards Adams State $2.5 million to address COVID-related challenges in local schools

Adams State University has been awarded $2.5 million under the state of Colorado’s Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) fund to address learning challenges in San Luis Valley schools related to the economic, social, and health ...

Fort Lewis College awarded grant from state to build postsecondary pathways

Fort Lewis College received $3.6 million for the Southwest Colorado District Collaborative, a partnership between FLC, Pueblo Community College, and southwest Colorado school districts to pool resources and build strong postsecondary pathways

The Rural Schools Innovation Zone featured in the Wall Street Journal

The Rural Schools Innovation Zone was featured in the Wall Street Journal about how they are nimbly adjusting their vocational training and education throughout the pandemic.

CEO of East Texas Advanced Academies Someone Black Students Can Identify With

CEO of East Texas Advanced Academies, Dr. Cynthia Wise, was featured on the Longview News-Journal as a strong Black leader that is representative of her community and for her students.

Senior Officer of the Leadership Academy Network featured in PPI Webinar for Schools That Excelled During the Pandemic: How and Why They Pivoted Effectively to Remote Learning

Senior Officer of the Leadership Academy Network, Priscila Dilley, was featured on a panel by PPI alongside other education leaders who have been excelling during ...

Profile in Education Equity: Cicely Alexander, Lubbock Partnership Network

The Executive Director of the Lubbock Partnership Network, Cicely Alexander, was featured by EdTrust on her personal connection and local leadership in the Lubbock ...

Operation Education: Assessing the Empowerment Zone after its first year

The South Bend Empowerment Zone's first year has come to a close. Zone leaders are now evaluating what was accomplished, and what's left to be done. 

The Empowerment Zone consists of five chronically underperforming schools -- Navarre ...

Some students might soon get what they’ve long needed: More classroom time

Nearly everyone is wondering how to start what will be the most uncertain new school year of our lifetimes. I sense both fear and hope. It is ...

Blog: To Our Community

To our community, 

We are heartbroken and angry. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others before them are a manifestation of systemic racism. We stand with protesters across the country in their ...

Of Houses and Hope: A Promising Fort Worth School Turnaround and the Closely Watched Policy Push Making It Happen

Fort Worth

As kids pass in the halls at Como Elementary, the undercurrent of joy about the school’s Harry Potter-style house system is palpable. Banners and other color-coded emblems on ...

John King Talks Teacher Diversity, Student Engagement, Budgeting, School Autonomy — and ‘Fauxtonomy’ — at Texas Education Reform Summit

John King may be the first U.S. secretary of education who was kicked out of high school. But he hopes he’s not the last.

King’s parents died before he finished sixth grade. By the time he was in high school, he was a hurting, angry

Transformation Waco schools show significant progress on STAAR exams

Students in Transformation Waco schools have made significant strides in their performance on state standardized exams in the past two years, even surpassing state average scores on some tests this year, CEO Robin McDurham said at a board

Alexander named executive principal of Lubbock Partnership Network

Cicely Alexander, current principal of Alderson Elementary, has been named the executive principal of the Lubbock Partnership Network.

According to a news release, the Lubbock Partnership Network is an innovative partnership with ...

How a New Innovation Zone Will Bring Big-World Opportunities to Students in 3 Rural Texas Districts

Texas has more schools in rural areas than any other state. In the 2015-16 school year, rural schools, as classified by the Texas Education Agency, accounted for 459 of the 1,247 school districts in Texas. Having the privilege to lead ...

Texas school districts create Rural Schools Innovation Zone

In a pioneering new partnership, three districts in South Texas are joining forces to create a first-of-its-kind initiative to improve educational opportunities for their rural students.

The school boards of Brooks ...

Will a partnership with Texas Wesleyan create high-achieving schools in Fort Worth?

A new education partnership between Fort Worth schools and Texas Wesleyan University aims to sustain academic gains made

Four South Texas ISDs Come Together for Partnership

Superintendents and board presidents of four nearby South Texas school districts signed a resolution Thursday evening establishing the creation of a Rural School Innovation Zone that will allow them to share educational services in ...

In Massachusetts, Initiatives to Empower Principals and Teachers

Massachusetts, the state where the first public high school opened in 1820 and the “common school’’ movement began in the 1830s, has ranked first in NAEP scores over seven consecutive tests since 2005. The Kids Count Data Center placed ...

Transformation Waco Approves Management of Five Struggling Schools

On Tuesday, a newly formed nonprofit approved overseeing six schools in Waco for the next two years. Five of those schools were at risk of closing earlier this year are part of the schools that will now be managed by Transformation ...

Denver Expands Its Experiment With More Autonomous ‘Innovation Zones’

Five more Denver schools will have additional freedom this fall from school district rules. The school board voted unanimously Thursday to allow one school to join an existing “innovation zone” and another four to create a new one. Innovation

What We’ve Learned From Leading Schools in Denver’s Luminary Network — And How We’ve Used Our Financial Freedom

Three years ago, we were among a group of Denver principals who began meeting to tackle an important question: How could we use Colorado’s innovation schools law to take our schools to the next level? As leaders of innovation schools, we ...

Denver’s Luminary Learning Network Shows How Innovation Zones Can Work for Teachers, Students, and Families

When we helped four school leaders launch an “innovation zone” in Denver two years ago, we weren’t sure where the journey would take us. The guiding vision was for radical empowerment of the educators closest to the students. So we began ...

Springfield Teachers, Empowerment Zone Schools Praised by Gov. Charlie Baker

Two teachers who represented the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership during Gov. Charlie Baker's State of the Commonwealth speech said it is a testament to the work being done by administrators, teachers, parents and students. "It ...

Denver’s First Innovation Zone: How It Got Built & Early Lessons

Education leaders, advocates, and policymakers interested in pushing more decision-making, budget flexibility, and ownership to the school level can hear lessons from Colorado’s first independently run innovation zone of public schools – thanks ...

Innovation Partnership Zones, an educational Third Way

Innovation Partnership Zones, as they are called in Representative Peisch's proposal, share the same general structure as the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership: an independent, interlocking board of directors, a performance contract with the local district, and a pathway to a new, negotiated collective bargaining agreement that allows more teacher voice at the school level.
Early learnings, successes, and inspiration from Denver’s LLN

Early learnings, successes, and inspiration from Denver’s LLN

It has been exciting to see Denver Public Schools leadership so enthusiastic about the promise of the Empowerment Zone model that they are considering launching their own call for Zones and re-fashioning the district’s theory of action to reflect a 'schools as the unit of change' - a central tenet of Zone, and Empower Schools theory.

Places We’re Watching: Indianapolis

One of the most interesting developments in Indianapolis has been the creation of Innovation Network Schools. These schools are district schools that are exempt from the same laws and regulations as charters and operate outside of union contracts.

Big changes could be coming to New Bedford middle schools

The New Bedford School Committee voted Monday to authorize the school district to develop redesign plans for the middle schools. One option, but not the only option the schools will look at, is an "innovation zone" with a special governing ...
Places we’re watching: Clark Co, NV

Places we’re watching: Clark Co, NV

Here at Empower Schools we are all about empowering schools. That’s why we are watching (and cheering on) Clark County, NV, as it embarks on an ambitious project to reorganize itself into a district of empowered schools.
The Emerging Third Way: Blazing an Optimistic Path Ahead in K-12 Education

The Emerging Third Way: Blazing an Optimistic Path Ahead in K-12 Education

On Tuesday May 31st, 2016, 400 people came together in Boston to kick off the Emerging Third Way in Education. The Event was hosted by Empower Schools and co-sponsored by MassINC and The Boston Foundation.

Education Dilemmas and the Third Way

I enjoyed reading this thought piece by Andy Smarick because it so succinctly captures the dilemma that is at the heart of Empower’s focus on the Third Way.

Districts of Innovation Complete First Round of Designation in Texas

We have been following the developing story of Districts of Innovation in TX since the beginning and are enjoying reading the Innovation Plans. To those eight new Districts of Innovation we say, "Welcome to the Third Way!"
Listen: Finding a Third Way in Education

Listen: Finding a Third Way in Education

Chris Gabrieli sits down with Boston's NPR News Station to discuss the Third Way in Education, a set of practices that are emerging in districts like Springfield, Lawrence, Boston, Denver, CO and more.
The ‘third way’ in education

The ‘third way’ in education

Commonwealth Magazine - "POLARIZATION AND TRENCH WARFARE, the partisan watchwords these days in Washington, have also come to define education debates.

In Massachusetts, as much as $30 million could be spent between now and ...

New Orleans Plan: Charter Schools, With a Return to Local Control

New Orleans Plan: Charter Schools, With a Return to Local Control

New York Times - "Nothing has defined and even driven the fractious national debate over education quite like this city and the transformation of its school system in the decade since

Parents, students excited about Up Academy taking over Kennedy Middle School in Springfield

Parents, students excited about Up Academy taking over Kennedy Middle School in Springfield

Mass Live - Alejandra Rivera, 12, plans to be the president of the United States one day. "Or maybe a judge," said the sixth grader at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Springfield. Recently Alejandra's mother, Jacqueline Rosario, ...
Event: The Emerging Third Way: Blazing an Optimistic Path Ahead in K-12 Education

Event: The Emerging Third Way: Blazing an Optimistic Path Ahead in K-12 Education

Since 1636, Massachusetts has been known for its district public schools- the “first way”. Since 1993, Massachusetts’ charter schools have led the nation in pioneering a “second way”. It is time to recognize a Third Way – an emerging set ...
Denver school board approves innovation zone, granting schools new freedoms

Denver school board approves innovation zone, granting schools new freedoms

Chalkbeat - Four Denver public schools will enjoy unprecedented autonomy next year after the school board Thursday unanimously approved a new “innovation zone.” Ashley Elementary School, Cole Arts & Science Academy, Denver Green ...