Learning about Douglas County K-12 Innovation: Read. Watch. Share. Repeat.

Seeing as how it’s been at least a couple days since I’ve mentioned Douglas County, it seemed like the perfect time to make sure you all also saw my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow’s new op-ed in the Colorado Observer:

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things,” Machiavelli wrote in his 500-year-old classic The Prince. The Florentine political philosopher keenly recognized the challenges of undertaking any kind of major reform project.

A conservative area like Douglas County is no exception, where the grievances of displaced interest groups have helped to forge a focused and empowered political opposition. In 2011, two years after reformers swept a majority of seats, Dougco’s school board became the nation’s first to adopt a local private school choice program. The action triggered a costly (but privately funded) lawsuit and the beginnings of a resistance.

So yes, he not only quotes a super-old, long-dead political philosopher guy, but spends most of the space debunking some of the anti-reform mythology. It’s really worth a few minutes to get up to speed on what’s taking place in America’s most cutting-edge (and Ed Is Watching-blogged-about) school district. If you can’t get through to the Observer site, it’s also been re-posted at Complete Colorado Page Two and the Education Policy Center.

Or maybe you can read it once at each site, because repetition is the key to learning I’ve often heard it said. And you know the misinformation is getting repeated over and over again. So once you’ve read that, or maybe before, check out this new video by the AFP Foundation as they interview Douglas County’s own Denise Denny about the success of the district’s innovative approach:

A little birdie tells me that this 30-second video (come on, you can dedicate that much time, can’t you?) is part of a new series called “It’s Working.” So watch it. Read the op-ed. How many times do I have to say it?

We’re all going to learn… together. It’s for a good cause.