This article quoting Sen. Nancy Spence is interesting. http://www.coloradosenatenews.com/content/view/589/26/ Sen. Spence contends that the way to improve public education is to simply use successful charter school methods.
One of the original purposes of the Charter Schools Act was to implement innovative methods that could be replicated in schools operated by school districts. Many expected the lessons learned in charter schools would be widely applied to other schools. But it hasn't happened. Not in Colorado and not in other states.
Researchers have speculated various reasons for traditional public education not benefitting from innovative educational practices employed in charter schools. Certainly there are instances of leaders in traditional public education responding to the competitive school choice market by implementing certain elements utilized by charter schools.
But it seems that many in public education remain skeptical about the success of charter schools in their communities. While they may be willing to adopt an annual parent satisfaction survey, they shun the thought of adopting a successful curriculum. Some, it appears, even abhor the thought of adopting a piece of the charter school model simply because they know more about education, after all they've had a monopoly for a very long time. Charter schools are the "new kids on the block" and their new ideas may be intimidating to long-time public educators.
On the federal level, where there has been an emphasis on using scientifically researched based methods proven to be effective, charter schools are considered exemplary models. The US Dept of Education studies what makes public charter schools successful, and documents those findings for other schools to use. (See yesterday's blog for a prime example of this.)
Hopefully more public education leaders across America will be more concerned about WHAT works rather than WHO came up with the idea.