• Research, Theory, and Analysis

    For years now, this phrase has been the tagline for Ideas & Perspectives, our flagship publication. The phrase not only reflects the content of our advisory letter, but it resides at the core of Independent School Management’s raison d'être—supporting private-independent school leaders.


Building 21st Century Catholic Learning Communities: Enhancing the Catholic Mission With Data, Blended Learning, and Other Best Practices From Top Charter Schools

Released July 2012. Catholic K-12 education in the United States is in crisis--with rapidly declining enrollment, untenable financial models, and new competition from public charter schools. The 2012-2013 school year will be the first in which more American children will be enrolled in charter schools than Catholic schools. This milestone presents an opportunity for Catholic schools to innovate and renew their mission by learning from high-performing charter schools. This report, written by Lexington Institute Visiting Fellow Sean Kennedy, discusses the progress of several, innovative Catholic education models from around the country that are already implementing many of these practices with impressive success.

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The 21st Century School: Fairness, Competitiveness, and High Performance

The importance of the school community and its concomitant virtue of fairness is more important than ever. In addition, our increasingly competitive environment is causing students and parents to re-evaluate the value they are receiving from your private school. In this article, we consider the issues of fairness, competitiveness, and high performance from the viewpoint of assessment. We hope that it will encourage much deeper conversation about assessment practice among your school's faculty.

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21st Century Teaching: Stability and Challenge

While ISM believes that much is changing in educational architecture, we don't believe that to be necessarily true of teaching practice. And the challenge will not be in how to teach, but how to establish culture/community within the new 21st century architecture. As a School Head or academic administrator, it might be tempting to read into ISM's ongoing exploration of 21st Century Schools the idea that the practice of teaching is fundamentally changing in the digital age and that what we now "know" means that teachers have to retool to meet brand new challenges. This revolution in educational architecture is profound. But it does not necessarily imply a dramatic change in teaching practice per se.

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ISM’s 20 Success Predictors for the 21st Century

In the 21st century, ISM expects successful private-independent schools to make radical changes in both structure and function in order to achieve and sustain stability and excellence. ISM here offers 20 ISM Success Predictors, not as replacements for ISM Stability Markers, but as supplements to them. The 20 ISM Successor Predictors do not comprise ISM's predictions of what will happen, but, rather, ISM's predictions of what will become necessary to establish and sustain institutional succes in the 21st century.

Educational Trends Shaping School Plannin

Educational Trends Shaping School Planning, Design, Construction, Funding and Operation

Released September 2010. School facilities built today will likely still be in existence in 2050. This raises a critical question. What are the emerging major trends educators and facilities specialists need to be aware of to better insure that future school structures complement the coming evolution, and possibly revolution, in public education? This question serves as the framework for what is presented in this report. Although the focus is on public schools, the trends discussed are generally applicable to private schools as well.

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The 21st Century School: Budget

The question of fair, competitive compensation is a primary concern when developing your school’s budget. Your school’s ability to attract the best candidates is a prerequisite for excellence in the classroom, and compensation is a piece of that puzzle. As we continue our discussion of the 21st Century School, it is clear that private-independent schools must not only provide financial support and appropriate time for ongoing and effective professional growth and renewal, but also compensate faculty competitively.

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