Chapter 3
. D. Assembling The Pieces Into A New Whole

Everything that has been discussed here is applicable to single E schools. Many communities across the country, however, have multiple high schools in one school district. When one or several are slated for reform, the others join in, sometimes inspired by the district, sometimes by principals and lead faculty members. At the next level up from schools, there is a growing movement toward “portfolio school districts” in which a variety of school configurations are tried out side by side – transformed schools, comprehensively reformed schools, large schools broken into academies that are similar to small schools but which still operate under one roof and one principal, thematically focused schools, small schools, early college schools, and public charter schools. All are part of a mix of new and differently managed and budgeted school options for parents, communities and students.

Deeper Look

Visit the website of the Center for Reinventing Public Education,, and explore publications referenced there, including Strife and Progress: Portfolio Strategies for Managing Urban Schools, an examination of the possibilities, pitfalls and evidence about portfolio districts to date, especially targeted for city- policymakers and community leaders. Also see the references in A Deeper Look, in the section, High Level Learning Opportunities in High School. 

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