PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Across the country teachers are taking over schools. Minnesota’s legislature passed a law in 2009 that permits school districts to operate teacher-run schools. Milwaukee has adopted the practice.

Avalon, a project-based school where students meet state standards by completing semester long projects and logging their hours, was chartered by Hamline University earlier, in 2001. The school has 176 students in grades 7-12—22% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, 25% are in special ed classes and 29% are students of color.

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The Star Tribune in St. Paul reports on a study by Charles Kerchner of Claremont University, who spent months at Avalon. He found that students scored higher than the state average on reading and the SAT, sent a large number of kids to college and has overwhelming parent involvement.

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Kerchner observed at Avalon and at other schools without principals that kids are capable of much more self control than most teachers expect.

Los Angeles has turned over 29 schools to teacher-led groups. While this approach won’t turn traditional systems upside down, we can learn from their examples.

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Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio