The 2011 Washington State Legislature passed two laws concerning innovative schools. The first recognized public schools that are “bold, creative, and innovative.” A second law sought to expand the number of innovative schools by allowing flexibility in state statutes and rules. At present, there are 34 designated schools and innovation “zones.”
For this study, we statistically analyzed school performance; conducted systematic literature reviews; and visited most designated schools. We learned that the designated innovative schools are extremely varied in their missions, student populations, strategies, and outcomes.