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
- 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.