My annual post-EduCon chill-out-about-SLA post, in the form of a comment at Ira Socol's:
SLA is pretty much what it says it is and what it thinks it is, an educationally-progressive science magnet school in the Philadelphia School District. The hype around EduCon tends to get ramped up even more by people for whom a successful progressive high school is a novelty.
On the other hand, it is not a Summerhill model free school, nor does it think it is. The structure of the school is a self-conscious compromise to fit into the existing, treacherous political structure.
What sets SLA apart is the quality of the implementation. To be honest, "innovation" is a red herring. Everything that can be done in education already has been done, many times. What matters is how well you do it.