National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

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


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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