Boards and superintendents, legislators and governors are about to feel the big push for "Digital Learning Now". This will appeal. 'Digital' carries the potential to improve learning. But, going digital will be a challenge.
Recently in the Wall Street Journal and Education Next there have been accounts of the origins of chartering. Gradually the history is coming right. We thought we might take the liberty of adding our version, since the first legislative implementation of the idea occurred in Minnesota and a number of those now in Education|Evolving were involved.
In Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, E|E partner Curtis Johnson and co-authors Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School and Michael Horn of Innosight Institute discuss how to transform the education system to customize learning for different student needs. McGraw-Hill has recently released a revised and expanded edition of the award-winning book, including a new chapter on student motivation. We are pleased to announce the release of an adaptation of that new chapter, Rethinking Student Motivation, available for free download.
The idea of organizing 'school' as a professional partnership has now hit the national media. The New York Times had a front-page story last week about teachers in New Jersey. The Christian Science Monitor had a piece earlier about the teacher-led school in Denver. This will cause discussion. What is this idea? Can it possibly work? There are a couple things to clarify, quickly.
It's suggested these days that with 'evidence' showing us 'what works' the debate about how-to-improve school and learning is basically over . . . that all that's needed now is the political will to do it. Yet others sense that new developments are throwing the conventional certainties up in the air; that the situation today is (to borrow a term from military strategy) "volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous". At the annual retreat of the Knowledge Alliance August 3, in Albuquerque, one of Education|Evolving's associates, Ted Kolderie, pointed out some serious and fundamental problems in the education-policy discussion and with the nation's effort at improvement.
Just last week we launched a blog. The Education Innovating Blog follows a growing movement of innovation in public education that is generating new models of schools, different approaches to learning, and expanding traditional definitions of achievement.
In this latest policy paper Education|Evolving urges policymakers, 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.