In this report leading government management improvement strategist Eric Schnurer takes a look at the context in which the SEZP was conceived and developed, the core principles and strategies that it operates with, and the initial impact it is having on school leaders, teachers, and district leadership.
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.
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.
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.