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Embrace of Common Innovative Elements in Major U.S. Cities Shared in New Report

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Few of our major cities have the talent, leadership, infrastructure, culture, and resources—both human and financial—to encourage enterprising reformers and then help them to succeed, according to a recent report. However, some communities have succeeded in creating healthy reform environments.

America’s Best (and Worst) Cities for School Reform: Attracting Entrepreneurs and Change Agents, by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Foundation, shared how six factors determined how receptive cities were to accept new ideas and improvement:

  • Enough human talent
  • Funding
  • Thriving charter schools
  • Quality control metrics to guide and regulate entrepreneurial ventures
  • Receptivity to nontraditional providers
  • Similar receptivity at the municipal level

Some of the top cities include New Orleans, Washington, DC, New York City, Denver, and Jacksonville. Collaboration with businesses played a significant role in some cities’ ability to cultivate an environment for reform. For example, Jacksonville, Florida is a community where support from business leaders makes for a hospitable reform environment. Fort Worth, Texas also has a supportive business community, an important element of its strong municipal environment. CTE’s record of collaborating with business could play a significant role in attracting business to the school improvement table.

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