I call it (the collaboration between private philanthropic dollars and federal funding) a private-public partnership, and so far, we think it’s starting to show powerful results.- Terry Ryan

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Terry Ryan knows education from every angle. He is the CEO of BLUUM - a non-profit organization working to develop leaders and support innovative schools in Idaho. Terry has a lot to say about charter schools, philanthropic funding, how to create a community of practice, and the ways that charters and districts might put aside their differences and capitalize on the strengths of each arm of education.

He talks fast, but we wish we could hear even more of the wisdom that Terry has accumulated in his work in education. Have a listen, and take some notes on the lessons learned from a man who has opened 14 schools to date.

In our discussion, we cover:

00:20 Andrew opens the conversation by asking - Tell us about what you are doing in Idaho.

05:20 Terry talks about the collaboration between groups that he is currently working with, and whether this might become a “best practice” in the future.

10:45 Andrew wonders how the education trends in Idaho might compare with what is happening elsewhere in America.

15:00 Terry responds to Andrew’s question - How do you wrap your head around what is happening in charter schools and in education in general.

21:20 Andrew asks Terry how the “hot spots” of success in charter school innovation can be replicated across the country.

29:23 Terry shares the ways that charter schools and school districts can more effectively collaborate to maximize the strengths of each.

33:39 Andrew and Terry consider the problems of facilities and leadership when a new charter school is being created.

36:15 Terry discusses the patterns he has seen in the process of opening 14 charter schools.

41:20 Andrew asks Terry - How does a school leader who wants to start or renovate a school position himself in the queue to have a better chance at a successful bid for financial support from a foundation?

46:55 Terry offers parting thoughts.


08:45 “I call it (the collaboration between private philanthropic dollars and federal funding) a private-public partnership, and so far, we think it’s starting to show powerful results.

13:50 “In the states that are growing, saying, ‘Let’s create more charter schools,’ has a lot of merit.

15:50 “Overall, charter school students outperform the traditional school students that they are matched against.

22:55 “I get the most excited when you can take the charter school flexibility, freedoms, and innovation and… apply them to district schools.

39:30 “We’re trying to develop a community of practice (among charter schools) and that might be the biggest legacy to come out of this work.

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

Bluum - https://www.bluum.org/our-team/

Building Hope - http://www.buildinghope.org

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute - https://fordhaminstitute.org/

How is Idaho Charter School Performance Like a Clint Eastwood Movie - https://www.idahoednews.org/voices/how-is-idaho-charter-school-performance-like-a-clint-eastwood-movie/

The J. A. and Katherine Albertson Family Foundation - https://www.jkaf.org/

CREDO - The Center for Research on Education Outcomes - https://credo.stanford.edu/

Acton Academy - http://www.actonacademy.org/

New Tech Network - https://newtechnetwork.org/

KIPP Public Charter Schools - https://www.kipp.org/

Where to learn more about Terry Ryan:

Email - tryan@bluum.org

Terry on Twitter - @IDTerryRyan

BLUUM on Twitter - @bluumorg

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:

Website: www.enrollhand.com

Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com

Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/