ESEA Waiver Renewal

In late August, the U. S. Department of Education released its guidance for ESEA Waiver Renewal. As many pundits have noted, Secretary Duncan attached more strings to states earning renewal of their waiver. As it stands, to get a two-year extension of their waivers, states must reaffirm their commitment to college and career ready standards, esea-flex3assessments aligned to those standards, and to the implementation of their designed and submitted system of differentiated accountability (with an expressed focus on closing achievement gaps). This is all expected fare, to be honest, both the focus and the new strings. Currently 41 states have waivers. The bulk of those (35) were granted in Rounds 1 and 2 of the waiver process and these states will be the first to run through the new drills to get their renewals. Continue reading

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ESEA Waiver Renewal

here is one line in the Department’s press release that is really interesting to me, “… (the Department’s renewal process) will also provide an opportunity for states to make necessary adjustments to their approved plans for improving student learning and the quality of instruction.” This is interesting to me because I wonder how far the Department will let states go with those adjustments. Will they allow waivers within a state’s waiver for programs like Kentucky’s Districts of Innovation? What about enabling states interested in moving towards competency education, like those in CCSSO’s Innovation Lab Network, to pilot parallel assessment and accountability systems for a subset of districts? It seems to me that if the Department is interested in allowing states to be truly innovative in the way we deliver education to our students, this waiver renewal process may be an important, and maybe their last, opportunity to do that. Continue reading

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All Politics Aside: Five Points of Agreement on ESEA Reauthorization

Democrats stood by their 1,000+ page bill which would largely stay the course on U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s waiver strategy. Republicans, on the other hand, made the case for a smaller federal presence in education. Despite these differences, there were some striking similarities among the two proposals which warrant some mention. Continue reading

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Federal Innovation Competitions: A Catalyst for Competency Education

Given the strong demand from the field, it’s encouraging to see the federal government exploring policies to provide states and districts with the flexibility to implement competency education at scale. Continue reading

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Obama visit to Manor shows important link between education, economy

When President Barack Obama visited Manor New Technology High School near Austin, Texas, earlier this month, he saw the successful offspring of pedagogy, public policy, and free enterprise.

He saw students excited and engaged in their learning, teachers creatively developing real-world projects, and technology seamlessly incorporated in the classroom. Schools like Manor New Tech fuse student learning to the local workforce system to create relevance and linkages to economic drivers as well as alignment to institutions of higher education to provide college credit for students while they are still in high school. Continue reading

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The Emerging Federal Role for Competency Education

KnowledgeWorks’ sheds light on this challenge in our first competency education policy brief released today: An Emerging Federal Role for Competency Education. The goals of this publication are to not only familiarize policymakers with the paradigm shift happening in K-12 schools across the country, but to also bring to the forefront the fact that federal law makes it challenging for a state, district, or school to pursue this approach Continue reading

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High School Race to the Top: 10 Essential Elements for High School Reform and College and Career Ready Success

As a social enterprise with more than a decade of experience in high school reform, KnowledgeWorks knows what a successful high school looks like. High School Race to the Top: 10 Essential Elements for High School Reform and College and Career Ready Success combines knowledge from our recent educational futures publication, Forecast 3.0, Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem,and the experience of our subsidiary organizations who serve on the front lines of high school reform to recommend 10 Essential Elements for a High School Race to the Top competition. Together, these elements represent a new vision for education that puts students at the center, empowering them to take charge of their high school, college, and career success Continue reading

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10 Essential Elements for High School Race to the Top

A High School Race to the Top competition must challenge the current education system by empowering education stakeholders to break through traditional barriers to learning. In order to achieve the success President Obama spoke about in his State of the Union Address, KnowledgeWorks believes a new high school competition must include the following 10 Essential Elements along with an emphasis on STEM as the President outlined in his speech. Continue reading

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An Introduction to the 10 Essential Elements for High School Race to the Top

A High School Race to the Top competition must challenge the current education system by empowering education stakeholders to break through traditional barriers to learning. KnowledgeWorks believes a new high school competition must include 10 Essential Elements for high school reform. Continue reading

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