A charter chain thinks it has the answer for alternative schools
Critics complain that the schools lack rigor and often use software programs vulnerable to cheating, such as Edgenuity. https://www.edgenuity.com/login/
Bixby also pushed back on the idea, expressed by some alternative school critics, that students in traditional classrooms, with teachers who each see over 150 pupils a day, are assured a more meaningful experience. Altus students are assigned to one main teacher who becomes responsible for each of their students’ progress throughout their time in the program. The network aims to assign no more than 40 students to each teacher so that they have time to get to know them. And all instruction is delivered one-on-one or in small groups.
more on charter schools in this IMS blog
Just What IS A Charter School, Anyway?
more on charter schools in this IMS blog
Ohio’s E-School Attendance Dispute: Q&A With the Columbus Dispatch
The biggest Ohio e-school story over the past year: a push by the state education department to audit attendance at the full-time online schools using student-login records. A first round of reviews found that nine e-schools had overstated their enrollment by a combined 12,000 students. A Dispatch analysis of ECOT’s audit showed that nearly 70 percent of the school’s students missed enough school to be considered truant under state law.
Across the country, the question of how to best track and report student attendance in a full-time online school remains unresolved, contributing to the significant uncertainty around e-schools’ funding and performance.
more on charter schools in this IMS blog
The Prize is a story about good intentions gone awry. They turn into political struggles, condescending and arrogant management policies, and money wasted. They are thwarted by community mistrust which led to rebellion. Note that none of this mentions the children. It may be an opportunity lost for them. If their parents stay involved, workable strategies to improve schools may emerge.
The Prize gives little insight into what works in schools to break the cycle of poverty. The Newark example explains what did not work. Individual teachers, given adequate support, are effective. Some lessons learned about charter and district collaboration have emerged. Small steps are being taken. I will post them next. What we do know is that, in the last analysis, parents own the schools. Without them, nothing good will happen.
1. Anti-School Shooter Software
4. “The Year of the MOOC” (2012)
6. “Everyone Should Learn to Code”
8. LAUSD’s iPad Initiative (2013)
9. Virtual Charter Schools
10. Google for Education
14. inBloom. The Shared Learning Collaborative (2011)
17. Test Prep
20. Predictive Analytics
22. Automated Essay Grading
25. Peter Thiel
26. Google Glass
32. Common Core State Standards
44. YouTube, the New “Educational TV”
48. The Hour of Code
49. Yik Yak
52. Virtual Reality
57. TurnItIn (and the Cheating Detection Racket) (my note: repeating the same for years: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=turnitin)
64. Alexa at School
65. Apple’s iTextbooks (2011)
67. UC Berkeley Deletes Its Online Lectures. ADA
72. Chatbot Instructors. IBM Watson “AI” technology (2016)
82. “The End of Library” Stories (and the Software that Seems to Support That)
92. “The Flipped Classroom”
93. 3D Printing
100. The Horizon Report
five of the biggest education stories of the year
Stagnant Student Performance and Widening Achievement Gaps
a vociferous debate over what to blame, from subpar reading instruction to poverty to uneven implementation of the Common Core
A Crisis in Elite College Admissions
Declining Trust in Higher Education
a survey from the Pew Research Center found that 59 percent of Republicans and those who lean Republican believe colleges have a negative effect on the country.
Betsy DeVos, continued to draw criticism for rolling back oversight of for-profit colleges and weakening protections for bilked students.
The Democratic Party Backed Away From Charter Schools
Charters in cities like New York and Boston have shown promising achievement gains. But the sector has come under increasing fire on the left for harsh discipline practices, contributing to school segregation and serving fewer students with special needs. Teachers unions tend to oppose the schools’ expansion, since most of them are not unionized.
Democrats Continue to Debate School Segregation
school segregation remains a defining feature of the American education system today,
As Charters Face Growing Opposition, NewSchools Summit Makes Its Case
for the past 21 years its organizer, the Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit known as NewSchools Venture Fund, has also put millions of dollars into novel schools in public districts
Charter schools operate with public funding, and sometimes philanthropic support, but are managed by an outside organization that is independent from local district oversight. In California, they are run by nonprofit organizations with self-elected boards. (For-profit charters are outlawed.)
Their supporters and operators—who make up the vast majority of the 1,300-plus attendees at this year’s Summit—say the model offers the flexibility needed to introduce, test and adopt new curriculum, tools and pedagogical approaches that could better serve students, particularly in low-income and minority communities.
Rocketship Education was an early showcase for blended learning, where students rotate between working on computers and in small groups with teachers. Summit Public Schools, a network of charters that now claims a nationwide footprint, promotes project-based learning assisted by an online learning platform.
But charters have also attracted an increasingly vocal opposition, who charge them with funneling students, teachers and funds from traditional district schools. Aside from raising teacher salaries, a sticking point in the recent California teachers’ strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland has been stopping the growth of charter schools.
Detractors can point to fully-virtual charters, run by for-profit companies, that have been fined for misleading claims and graduating students at rates far below those at traditional schools. At the same time, research suggests that students attending charter schools in urban regions outperform their peers in traditional school settings.
While the first decade of this century saw double-digit percentage increase in the number of such schools, it has almost entirely plateaued (at 1 percent growth) in the 2017-2018 school year, according to data from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
more on charter schools in this IMS blog
The Overselling of Education Technology
my response to ed tech is “It depends.”
Some people seem to be drawn to technology for its own sake—because it’s cool.
Other people, particularly politicians, defend technology on the grounds that it will keep our students “competitive in the global economy.”
But the rationale that I find most disturbing—despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that it’s rarely made explicit—is the idea that technology will increase our efficiency…at teaching the same way that children have been taught for a very long time. Perhaps it hasn’t escaped your notice that ed tech is passionately embraced by very traditional schools: Their institutional pulse quickens over whatever is cutting-edge: instruction that’s blended, flipped, digitally personalized.
We can’t answer the question “Is tech useful in schools?” until we’ve grappled with a deeper question: “What kinds of learning should be taking place in those schools?”
Tarting up a lecture with a SmartBoard, loading a textbook on an iPad, looking up facts online, rehearsing skills with an “adaptive learning system,” writing answers to the teacher’s (or workbook’s) questions and uploading them to Google Docs—these are examples of how technology may make the process a bit more efficient or less dreary but does nothing to challenge the outdated pedagogy. To the contrary: These are shiny things that distract us from rethinking our approach to learning and reassure us that we’re already being innovative.
putting grades online (thereby increasing their salience and their damaging effects), using computers to administer tests and score essays, and setting up “embedded” assessment that’s marketed as “competency-based.” (If your instinct is to ask “What sort of competency? Isn’t that just warmed-over behaviorism?”
But as I argued not long ago, we shouldn’t confuse personalized learning with personal learning. The first involves adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated skills-based exercises based on students’ test scores, and it requires the purchase of software. The second involves working with each student to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests, and it requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well.a recent review found that studies of tech-based personalized instruction “show mixed results ranging from modest impacts to no impact” – despite the fact that it’s remarkably expensive.
an article in Education Week, “a host of national and regional surveys suggest that teachers are far more likely to use tech to make their own jobs easier and to supplement traditional instructional strategies than to put students in control of their own learning.”
OECD reportednegative outcomes when students spent a lot of time using computers, while Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) concluded that online charter schools were basically a disaster.
Larry Cuban, Sherry Turkle, Gary Stager, and Will Richardson.
Emily Talmage points out, uncannily aligned with the wish list of the Digital Learning Council, a group consisting largely of conservative advocacy groups and foundations, and corporations with a financial interest in promoting ed tech.
more on educational technology in this IMS blog
Betsy DeVos Touts Personalized Learning, Slams Common Core and Reform Efforts
U.S. Education Secretary spared no words in her critique of education reform efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations. “I don’t think there is much we can hold onto, from a federal level, that we can say was a real success,”
This is not the first time DeVos has praised personalized learning. The education secretary visited Thomas Russell Middle School in Milpitas, Calif
Her vision of personalized learning has plenty of detractors. Educators and administrators have already begun to voice their reservations about personalized learning in schools. At a gathering of educators in Oakland last October speakers decried what they described as the privatization of public education through the introduction of technology initiatives such as personalized learning. More recently, former AltSchool educator Paul Emerich wrote a blog post titled, “Why I Left Silicon Valley, EdTech, and ‘Personalized’ Learning,” where he offered critiques of the personalized learning movement in his school. The post touched on concerns about his workload and interactions with students.
Parents are raising pressure too. In at least two states, their concerns over screen-time and digital content used in online educational platform has forced districts to suspend the implementation of technology-enabled personalized learning programs such as Summit Learning.
De Vos pointed to previous federal-led education funding programs as a “carrot” that made little or no impact. Her critique is not unfounded: A report published last year by the Education Department’s research division found that the $7 billion School Improvement Grants program made “no significant impacts” on test scores, high school graduation rates or college enrollment.
Common Core is currently adopted in 36 states, according to EdWeek’s Common Core Tracker, last updated September 2017.
DeVos: ‘Common Core Is Dead’; A Large Online Charter School Is Shut Down
One of the largest online charter schools in the country closed this week amid a financial and legal dispute with the state of Ohio.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a keynote address this week to the American Enterprise Institute.
She also cited a survey by the American Federation of Teachers that 60 percent of its teachers reported having moderate to no influence over the content and skills taught in their own classrooms.
That same survey also noted that 86 percent of teachers said they do not feel respected by DeVos.
more on personalized learning in this IMS blog
more on Common Core in this blog