about the project
Charter schools, magnet schools, online courses, and alternative routes to teacher and leader development are topics featured in a series of Innovation Guides. These guides were produced by Innovation Studies at WestEd for the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) in the U.S. Department of Education.
Using a case study methodology, WestEd researchers documented the groundbreaking experiences of schools, districts, and colleges trying out new approaches in these critical areas.
Through the guides, WestEd authors shared what they have found with other educators and policymakers seeking to improve their own work in the given area.
Each of the guides below provides background information about the topic, an analysis of practices across all the featured sites, and a selection of resources. Most guides also include a short profile of each featured organization, with contact information for readers who may want to find out more about a practice.
- Connecting Students to Advanced Courses Online
- Evaluating Online Learning: Challenges and Strategies for Success
- Creating and Sustaining Successful K-8 Magnet Schools
- Successful Magnet High Schools
- Engaging Parents in Education: Lessons From Five Parental Information and Resource Centers
- K-8 Charter Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap
- Charter High Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap
- Making Charter School Facilities More Affordable: State-driven Policy Approaches
- Supporting Charter School Excellence Through Quality Authorizing
The guides are also available through the OII website.
Building on this research, WestEd also developed an online Evaluation Toolkit for Magnet School Programs, that includes tools and examples within a framework for planning and conducting an effective evaluation. This information is applicable to other school reform approaches as well.