As I’ve worked with superintendents’ groups around the country this fall, conversations about the potential to create radically personalized learning for all young people have consistently highlighted the need to think anew about the many kinds of infrastructure that might support districts in making such a shift – or prevent them from doing so. As a New Hampshire superintendent in whose district one elementary school is pursuing mass customization observed, today’s data systems and curricular resources do not align with such tailored support for learning. Innovative districts are often working around such systems and are coming up against the limits of their individual spans of control. Continue reading
Late last week and into the weekend I was at the CCSSO annual policy forum in Richmond, VA. On Friday morning the keynote speaker was former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew he was a Republican, social conservative, former governor presidential candidate, and FOX talk show host, but what would he actually say about education? I knew he was an advocate for the Common Core just as former Republican governors Jeb Bush and Mitch Daniels are. But beyond that what would he say?
Last week First Lady Michelle Obama announced that she will be focusing on increasing college access, matriculation, and graduation. In this new venture, Mrs. Obama will work with the Department of Education to help further the President’s initiative to vault the United States’ percentage of college graduates from 12th to first in the world by 2020. This is an incredibly important and laudable goal. One that is essential, in many ways, to the very existence of our republic. We know that higher college graduation rates impact the economy, reduce poverty (particularly generational poverty), reduce crime, strengthen national security, and, of course, expand the critically important equity agenda. Continue reading
In “Engineered to Succeed: Lessons From a Student Pursuing a STEM Degree,” Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network, encourages us to improve the numbers of women entering STEM fields by providing positive role models and creating an educational system that gives women an unbiased opportunity to pursue these careers. Continue reading
Jesse Moyer attends an iNACOL symposium on K-12 Online Learning. Notes on Blended Learning and a reflection on the current education debate and a reasonable expectation that we cultivate courage and personal decency in an effort to improve it. Continue reading
Brooklyn Pathways in Technology High School, or P-TECH, enjoyed a visit from President Barack Obama on Friday, October 25th as the President outlined an aggressive plan to bring high-speed Internet to every student in the United States. Continue reading
30 years of education reform have left gifted education pretty much where it was when A Nation at Risk was published in 1983. Then the ultimate goal for excellence in education was “to develop the talents of all to their fullest.” A Nation at Risk also acknowledged that perhaps we were hanging too much on the shoulders of our Nation’s schools and that the drive to provide solutions to “personal, social and political problems that the home and other institutions either will not or cannot resolve” had caused us to lose sight of the basic function of our public school system – education. The report referenced many troubling outcomes directly related to this neglect of focus on high education expectations – many of them which deeply effected students of high academic ability (“over half the population of gifted students do not match their tested ability with comparable achievement in school.”)
As someone who reads a lot of edu-research, I was excited to find out KnowledgeWorks was doing a mini blog series on A Nation at Risk in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of the report. Honestly, it gave me a really good reason to finally get around to reading it.
I was eager to read the report until I actually read it and had a chance to digest the content. I came away thinking, in 30 years absolutely nothing has changed in the edu-reform world. The seminal report calls for several reforms including a “Learning Society” and changes to content, expectations, time, and teaching. Continue reading
I think the last week is a pretty good microcosm of what we can expect from the Common Core going forward. Some ups, some downs, but few changes. Continue reading
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