Although the district-compact grants from the Gates Foundation don’t hurt, the 100K grants alone are probably not driving the charter-district détente. My view is that the wall dividing charter and district schools on the basis of their label alone is very much like the false divide between the people of Western and Eastern Europe toward the end of the Cold War. It has simply become all too obviously ridiculous and at odds with mutual interest. Smart district leaders know that high-performing charter schools can help them serve kids now stuck in chronically failing schools and attract entrepreneurial leaders. Smart charters know they need access to facilities and other district resources to stabilize their finances and to better support their sometimes young and inexperienced teaching staffs. Both know they need to challenge themselves constantly and seek ways to innovate and improve. As I wrote earlier this week, it remains to be seen whether district leaders entering into these deals can survive politically, but if they do, many more will likely follow. In a bizarre coincidence, the Dallas hotel where the second round of compact participants stayed displayed two slabs from the Berlin Wall.