In Boston, "innovation schools" are catching on. Innovation schools are governed by school districts, but have control of staffing and instructional decisions. The schools are expected to compete with charter schools for students, and keep students who would otherwise go to a charter school (and their government funds) in the district. The teacher's union supports the move but doubts there is a difference in the quality of education provided by charter, innovation, and traditional schools.
With a longer school day and hiring authority, innovation schools seem like they should be a meaningful option. Reviewing the data that come from the different types of schools across Boston will have interesting policy implications.