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Focus Area:
Portfolio Strategy

The portfolio strategy is a problem-solving framework through which education and civic leaders develop a citywide system of high-quality, diverse, autonomous public schools.

It moves past the one-size-fits-all approach to education. Portfolio systems place educators directly in charge of their schools, empower parents to choose the right schools for their children, and focus school system leaders – such as in a district central office or school authorizer – on overseeing school success.

Ratchet Effect: The Continuous Evolution of the Portfolio Strategy

The portfolio strategy has driven real improvement in urban K–12 school systems over the past 10 years. Results in Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City have been strong, and portfolio has started to reverse...

It’s Time to Rebuild the Sensible Center on Education Reform

Albert Shanker used to talk about crab bucket syndrome, by which high school students fighting to get out of poverty are constantly pulled back by others who don’t hope to “make it.” Something like that...

Thinking Forward: New Ideas for a New Era of Public Education

These essays rethink foundational aspects of the current education system and offer new ideas to shift the lens from schools to students. 

A New School Takes Root in New Orleans—And Races Against Time

Twenty-five years ago CRPE was founded on the idea of the school as the locus of change. Today we are reexamining our old assumptions in light of new technical possibilities, changes in the economy, and...

San Antonio ISD’s Innovations Offer National Lessons

The term “portfolio district” has taken on a life of its own these days. For some, it refers to places with a lot of charter schools and some coordination function. For others, it means having...

What Other Cities & School Districts Can Learn From San Antonio’s Classroom Innovations

Robin Lake highlights the San Antonio Independent School District as an example of a successful portfolio model in this piece for The 74.

Unified Enrollment in Chicago: A New Tool Highlights Old Truths

Going into the new school year, Chicago Public Schools dramatically simplified school choice in the city by creating a unified high school enrollment system. Rather than submitting multiple applications to multiple district-run choice programs and...

Strategies for Nimble Cities: Lessons from Stepping Up, Our 18-City Project

In 2017 CRPE published an analysis of student and school outcomes in 18 high-choice cities. It showed us that many cities were closing the gap between the city and state on key outcomes like graduation....

An Interview with Paymon Rouhanifard: Charting Camden’s Path to Improvement

Paymon Rouhanifard has been the superintendent of Camden City Public Schools in New Jersey since 2013 when the district was put under state receivership. Camden still has a long way to go, but the changes...

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