What Next?

What Next? Educational Innovation and Philadelphia’s School of the Future

Edited by Mary Cullinane and Frederick M. Hess
paper, 256 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-44-0
Price: $33.00

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What Next? offers a detailed study of the School of the Future's first three years (2006–2009) revealing what the School of the Future can teach us about high school redesign, public-private partnerships, and the use of technology in school reform.


This volume thoroughly documents the evolution of an important model for educational improvement. Beyond insights about school design in an era of sophisticated technology, it delineates a process for developing and refining innovations. Its ideas will prove useful for teachers, administrators, parents, school board members, the business sector, and policy makers. — Christopher Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education

I have little doubt that innovations—technological and otherwise—will transform schools and education in coming years. This volume provides important insights into the challenges of provoking such change at an accelerated pace. — Mitchell D. Chester, Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

A well-reasoned analysis of a dramatic reform effort. Sober, yet optimistic, and above all realistic, it shows that school reform is not for dreamers with silver bullets—or for the faint of heart. — Jane Hannaway, director, CALDER/Education Policy Center, The Urban Institute

Cullinane and Hess have assembled a strong and balanced group of analysts who chronicle a highly innovative attempt at high school reform. School leaders should find this book illuminating as they think through what it takes to foster changes in the core technology and instructional norms of schools. This book will be a mustread for the policy and reform communities, who often imagine technology as a transformative force in school improvement. — Kent C. McGuire, dean, College of Education, Temple University

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About the Editors

Mary Cullinane is director of innovation and business development for the Microsoft Corporation. A former teacher, she joined Microsoft in 2000, where she has worked to promote innovative programs and initiatives, including as national program manager of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation and creator of the Microsoft Innovation Center Awards. In 2003, Cullinane accepted the position of School of the Future technology architect, in which she was responsible for driving the creation of the new high school. In 2008, she became the U.S. director of innovation and business development for the Microsoft Education Group. Cullinane, a recipient of the Microsoft Circle of Excellence Award, has spoken at national and international conferences on topics such as educational technology, school reform, and strategic leadership. She has testified before Congress and has appeared on PBS, National Public Radio, and ABC News, and in Wired magazine.

Frederick M. Hess is a resident scholar and director of education policy studies at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and an executive editor of Education Next. His many books include When Research Matters (Harvard Education Press, 2008), No Remedy Left Behind (AEI Press, 2007), Educational Entrepreneurship (Harvard Education Press, 2006), Tough Love for Schools (AEI Press, 2006), Common Sense School Reform (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), and Spinning Wheels (Brookings Institution Press, 1998). His work has appeared in both popular and scholarly outlets, including Social Science Quarterly, the Harvard Educational Review, Education Week, Phi Delta Kappan, the Washington Post, and National Review. Hess serves on the review board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, as a research associate with the Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance, and as a member of the research advisory board for the National Center for Educational Accountability. He is a former high school social studies teacher and has taught at Harvard University, Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia.