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vouchers

Cory Turner offers a primer on how private school vouchers work, why they’re controversial, and the arguments for and against them

School Vouchers

nprEd correspondent Cory Turner offers a primer on how private school vouchers work, why they're controversial, and the arguments for and against them. Read more: “The Promise and Peril of School Vouchers” at http://n.pr/2psFwFz

Posted by NPR on Sunday, May 14, 2017

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more on vouchers and charter schools in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=voucher

digital badges in education

Digital Badges: Where are they Going? 

Posted by Christine Avery on Jan 23, 2018 8:41:59 AM
n a 2016 survey of higher education institutions (study published by UPCEA and Pearson), one in five institutions now offer the opportunity to earn verified digital badges.

The way we learn is continuously evolving. In the coming years we should expect to see organizations of all kinds start experimenting with the increasing number of badge platforms out there. While Mozilla Open Badges seems to be leading the way in the development of badging, other networks including Badge AllianceCredly and Digital Me are growing their networks as they launch their own competing platforms. Students and professionals use social networks and other digital platforms daily, and with that comes a different way to showcase professional skills.

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more on digital badges in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=badges

UNICEF cryptocurrency

Unicef recruits gamers to mine Ethereum in aid of Syrian children

Cryptocurrency scheme is part of wider UN effort to revolutionise aid with blockchain technology, increasing financial transparency

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/feb/06/unicef-recruits-gamers-mine-ethereum-aid-syrian-children

The UN’s children’s agency, Unicef, has launched a futuristic pilot project to utilise the cryptocurrency Ethereum to raise money for Syrian children.

the “blockchain” technology associated with the cryptocurrency – the world’s second largest after the controversial Bitcoin – to revolutionise not only how aid organisations raise money but also to increase transparency in their financial transactions.

Blockchain – which emerged as one of the underpinnings of Bitcoin – is a shared record of transactions maintained by a network of computers. It has become a key technology because of its ability to record and keep track of assets or transactions with no need for middlemen.

With a valuation of some $88bn (£62bn), Ethereum – which launched in 2015 – has an equivalent market value to Starbucks, according to Forbes magazine

The World Food Programme (WFP) has used Ethereum to deliver $1.4m in food vouchers, via the use of iris recognition scanners in camp supermarkets, to around 10,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan,

 

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more on cryptocurrency in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=cryptocurrency

AltSchool

AltSchool shift raises concerns of profits placed over educational promise

 Nov. 8, 2017 https://www.educationdive.com/news/altschool-shift-raises-concerns-of-profits-placed-over-educational-promise/510293/

  • The announcement by Silicon Valley personalized learning startup AltSchool that it will close two of its lab school campuses in Palo Alto and New York City has some educators concerned that the company is putting profits over efforts to improve education, EdSurge reports.
  • Butler Middle School (PA) Principal Jason Huffman also told the publication that he sees the company’s struggles as parallel to those of other education reform models that didn’t live up to their promises, adding that organizations like Future Ready have made similar models and platforms for personalization available at a lower cost to schools and districts.

Education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush, has been among the chief critics of these increasingly close ties, especially as it pertains to charter schools and voucher programs, decrying efforts to “turn us from citizens into consumers.” Public schools, she has said, should be focused around “building a sense of community, having a sense of democracy at the local level, having people from different backgrounds coming together to solve problems and learn how to be citizens.”

But AltSchool’s intentions with its lab schools and approach to developing its platform have seemed noble enough, with the company partnering with schools of varying sizes to learn how to best scale up successful approaches to personalized learning for traditional public schools. Its lab schools have been noted for eschewing traditional grade level structures and curriculum, attracting funding from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg.

Earlier this year, we visited one of the company’s partner schools — Berthold Academy, a Montessori in Reston, VA — to find out more about what AltSchool was looking to model and how its partnerships worked, finding a promising approach in action.

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more on charter schools in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=charter

education issues around election and charter schools

Peter Greene: What This Election Means for Schools

Trump’s education proposal is short but simple:

More school choice (a.k.a. “open the corporate charter floodgates”).

Merit pay for teachers (a.k.a. “we’ll pay them just what we think they’re worth and they’ll like it”).

End tenure (a.k.a. “You’re fired whenever the mood hits me”).

If Hillary is elected, we can expect more of the Obama style of reform. He deduces this from the advisors who are close to her, mostly from the Center for American Progress.

Bottom line: Trump will run over the schools like a steamroller, flattening them along with their teachers. He endorses vouchers, charters, online charters, anything goes.

Clinton is likely to be akin to Obama/Duncan in advancing charter schools and testing.

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REIGN OF ERROR By Diane Ravitch
Ravitch writes that the “the transfer of public funds to private management and the creation of thousands of deregulated, unsupervised, and unaccountable schools have opened the public coffers to profiteering, fraud, and exploitation by large and small entrepreneurs.”
The public school system, Ravitch argues, is under attack from corporate interests and Wall Street crusaders seeking to make a buck off the American taxpayer. The reformers, Ravitch writes, are an insurgency in America’s schools, “a deliberate effort to replace public education with a privately managed, free-market system of schooling.”
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Accountant Reconsiders Plea in Online Charter School Founder’s Tax Fraud

By Richard Chang 09/19/16

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/09/19/accountant-reconsiders-plea-in-online-charter-school-founder-tax-fraud.aspx