Colorado has been a national leader in public school choice. One of the small facets of that choice is the Innovation School concept pioneered by a 2008 state law. These public schools or school districts can seek waivers from some state laws to have more flexibility in program and/or personnel policies.
Up till now, the handful of schools that have sought and received Innovation School status are all located in Denver, designed to serve challenging urban student populations. But in the 2008 law’s own pioneer spirit, the tiny rural Kit Carson School District on the Eastern Plains is changing the trend.
On the newest iVoices podcast (click here to listen to the MP3 in another window), Kit Carson superintendent Gerald Keefe talks about his district’s Innovation waiver proposal to be brought before the State Board of Education in coming months. Rather than wait for the groundbreaking new SB 191 to go into effect, Kit Carson has some ideas of its own how to implement a more performance-based teacher evaluation and dismissal system.
In any case, it’s good to be reminded that innovation comes in all shapes and sizes — and population densities.