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From Whole School Solutions to Customized Services: Shifting the Focus from Supply to Demand in K-12 Reform


by Frederick M. Hess, Bruno V. Manno & Olivia Meeks — April 28, 2011

Entrepreneurship in K-12 schooling has generally focused on efforts to boost the supply of familiar things: more good schools, more talented teachers, and more effective school leaders. Consequently, the best known and most celebrated endeavors have tended to be "whole school" solutions. Too often missing, however, has been careful analysis of how differentiated solutions or innovative tools might enable education providers to meet the demands for schooling in smarter ways. This piece discusses how allowing an array of providers to play a more robust role in responding to consumers can dramatically reconfigure K-12 schooling and drive fresh thinking as to how communities, states, and the nation go about schooling.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 28, 2011
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16395, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 12:30:04 AM

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About the Author
  • Frederick Hess
    American Enterprise Institute
    E-mail Author
    FREDERICK M. HESS is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and author of The Same Thing Over and Over: How School Reformers Get Stuck in Yesterday’s Ideas, published by Harvard University Press. With Bruno V. Manno, Hess is co-editor of the recently published Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform, published by Harvard Education Press.
  • Bruno Manno
    Walton Family Foundation
    BRUNO V. MANNO is senior advisor for K-12 education with the Walton Family Foundation and coauthor of Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education as well as numerous other works on education policy and reform. With Frederick M. Hess, Manno is co-editor of the recently published Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform, published by Harvard Education Press.
  • Olivia Meeks
    American Enterprise Institute
    E-mail Author
    OLIVIA MEEKS is a research assistant in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and coauthor of the recent National School Boards Association report, “School Boards Circa 2010: Governance in the Accountability Era.” Meeks is a contributor to the recently published Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform, published by Harvard Education Press
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