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Steven Wilson

Senior Fellow

Background

Steven Wilson is a Senior Fellow with the Center on Reinventing Public Education. For three decades, Steven has sought to spark change in urban public education—offering fresh ideas in his writing and research, shaping legislative change, and opening new schools that prove what’s possible. Steven founded and built Ascend Learning, a growing network of tuition-free, liberal arts charter schools that today educates 5,500 students in Central Brooklyn. Ascend demonstrated the power of a warm and joyful school culture focused not on ensuring compliance but on fostering student agency—and not only closed but reversed achievement gaps. His first book, Reinventing the Schools: A Radical Plan for Boston, drove the development and passage of the Massachusetts charter school law. Learning on the Job: When Business Takes on Public Schools, won the Virginia and Warren Stone prize for an outstanding book on education and society. Steven is a Pahara-Aspen fellow and a graduate of Harvard University.

Publications

Steven Wilson

  • The Lens    

A pandemic innovation: The power of national mentors to build teacher capacity everywhere

Steven Wilson

In TNTP’s 2018 report The Opportunity Myth, the consequences of low expectations endemic in America’s classrooms are laid bare. Students’ lives, the authors wrote, “were slipping further away each day, unbeknownst to them and their families—not because they couldn’t learn what they needed to reach them, but because they were rarely given a real chance to try.

  • The Lens    

A national corps of mentors: Lessons from the pandemic on elevating teachers’ craft, at scale

Steven Wilson, Michael DeArmond, Robin Lake

As the new school year approaches, big-city superintendents everywhere confront the chasm between their students’ needs and their districts’ capacity to meet them.

  • The Lens    

A national corps of mentors: Lessons from the pandemic on elevating teachers’ craft, at scale

Steven Wilson

As the new school year approaches, big-city superintendents everywhere confront the chasm between their students’ needs and their districts’ capacity to meet them.

  • The Lens    

Every Minute Counts: Inside Success Academy’s Virtual Schools

Steven Wilson

New York City has been brought to a halt; only the sirens of ambulances pierce the fateful silence. But for Success Academy students, learning continues.

  • The Lens    

No Time to Lose: Autonomous Public Schools Go Virtual in Indianapolis

Steven Wilson

Three much-admired school networks in Indianapolis didn’t skip a beat in going virtual.  At Purdue Polytechnic High School, which enrolls 442 students at two campuses in the city, remote learning kicked off this past Monday, after schools closed throughout the city last Friday afternoon.

  • The Lens    

Brave New World at Success Academy

Steven Wilson

In a remarkable webinar this afternoon, Success Academy shared their plans for going virtual starting Thursday. None of us have been through anything like this before, and no one can claim a solution for shuttered schools.

  • The Lens    

Compatibility Error: Today’s High-Performing Charter Models Can’t Run on District Operating Systems

Steven Wilson

“A Charter for Change,” Al Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, titled his column in the New York Times one Sunday some three decades ago.

  • The Lens    

The Main Barriers to Scaling Successful Charter Schools Are Political, not Substantive

Steven Wilson

With news that federal funding for charter school programs is in question, the time seems ripe for an open debate on the promise of—and the barriers to—charter growth.

  • The Lens    

The Real Secret of Success? Progressive Pedagogy at Scale

Steven Wilson, Travis Pillow, Robin Lake

Success Academy doesn’t lack for press. And for good reason. There’s the eye-popping academic performance: 99 percent of students proficient in math, 90 percent in English Language Arts.

  • The Lens    

The Real Secret of Success? Progressive Pedagogy at Scale

Steven Wilson

Success Academy doesn’t lack for press. And for good reason. There’s the eye-popping academic performance: 99 percent of students proficient in math, 90 percent in English Language Arts.

  • The Lens    

Beyond “No Excuses”: Lessons from a Charter School Network’s Transformation

Steven Wilson

Introduction from CRPE director Robin Lake: I am delighted to introduce a new contributor to this blog and a new Senior Fellow at CRPE, Steven Wilson. 

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