By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Baltimore Public Schools system has adopted portfolio management, where a portfolio of diverse schools — through traditional district operation, charter operators, and nonprofit organizations – are accountable for performance. In five years the district has greatly improved student achievement.
It aggressively closed failing schools, introduced pupil-based funding, engaged parents and community organizations, spread principal autonomy, and expanded citywide choice to middle school students.
For districts considering this approach, a report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education recommends: clear accountability metrics for school closure, charter revocation or non-renewal decisions; regular communication to schools and the community on how closure decisions are made and improved timing of closure announcements.
There must be defined and communicated expectations for schools and outcome-focused accountability systems open to any instructional methods provided they produce increased student achievement. Read more at CRPE.org.