The Education Evolving Blog

June 18, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

This is a post by guest contributor Paul Hill of the Center on Reinventing Public Education.

With colleagues at the Center on Reinventing Public Education I am studying how big city school districts are pulling together many of the best ideas in education reform—small schools, chartering, more spending at the school level and less in the central office,...

June 17, 2010

This week Charles Lane wrote an interesting piece in the Washington Post skeptical of the terms being used to sell an administration proposal to spend $23 billion backstopping sliding school revenue. The administration hopes to save 300,000 teaching jobs and prevent dramatic increases in class sizes—both of which Lane argues are overblown.

The costs of running schools have gone up by 2-4 percent, but tax revenues have gone down. So there is disconnect. In the short...

June 16, 2010

The concept of cities and states setting up innovation zones—separate space for innovation—is taking root. The movement has been picking up speed, actually, with remarkable consistency across the country. If you haven’t already, browse the pages we’ve put together describing what’s happening zone-by-zone.

Last June E|E hosted a two-day gathering of folks from these zones in St. Paul, MN. Participants included teachers and union officials, district officials, some researchers, and policy makers. We learned that for those engaged in the work of...

June 15, 2010

David Brooks wrote a New York Times column last December about facets of an innovation agenda for economic reform.

Check out the seventh item: encourage regional innovation clusters.

Said Brooks, “Innovation doesn’t happen at the national level. It happens within hot spots — places where hordes of entrepreneurs gather to compete, meet face to face, pollinate ideas. Regional authorities can’t innovate themselves, but they can encourage those who do to cluster.”

It's interesting to...

June 14, 2010

Education|Evolving’s new strategy paper Innovation-based Systemic Reform urges policy makers, in revising ESEA, to think of strategy as a ‘split screen.’ The only realistic approach is to pursue our differing goals at the same time. K-12 education must improve both its performance and its economics. It must work concurrently for equity and for excellence. It must improve traditional school while encouraging innovation beyond traditional school.

The key idea is to let education change as other...

June 11, 2010

Editor’s note: Each Friday we feature guest bloggers that are involved in rethinking what is possible with schooling and the education system.

At bat this week are Dan French and Lynn Nordgren, who during an Education|Evolving meeting last June expressed their support for moving control over school form and function out to the front-line units, including teachers.

Dan French is director at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston. He argues that, “only when you create schools that are empowered in that way do...

June 10, 2010

We wrote yesterday: In the current discussion about improving education the consensus is to build on traditional school. The initiative proceeds on the assumption that learning can be significantly better without school being significantly different. It assumes school in its traditional form, with courses and classes, teachers ‘delivering education’.

For a good illustration of the state of affairs, click here.

It’s a Microsoft “We See” ad for software. It shows a classroom, a blackboard -- and no computer.

*...

June 9, 2010

There is a lot of talk about ‘innovation’ in education, with a lot of varying ideas about what it is. Our view is that serious innovation examines alternatives to the present way of doing things. Innovators look at the roots of problems, question whether present efforts can best address them, and do things completely different if necessary.

It is okay to try new things that are not yet ‘proven’ by documentation and study. In order to get big improvements people have got to move beyond the idea that everything must be ‘evidence-based.’

Evidence-based looks toward the past as...

June 7, 2010

A movement of innovation is sweeping the country as cities and states turn toward a strategy of creating different kinds of schools that customize learning, improve student and teacher motivation, and operate at a better value. This blog will follow the movement and report on its progress.

In a new paper Innovation-based Systemic Reform, Education Evolving argues that to improve public education 'school' as we know it must change. The system must be engaged in a continual process...

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