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10 Things School Board Members Should Do in 2013

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1. Set a high bar

  • Adopt the EPIC definition of college/career ready knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
  • Insist on evidence of real college and career ready standards.
  • Showcase examples of student work at board meetings.

2. Start a conversation about next generation learning

3. Take a field trip to a next generation schools

4. Model tech-based learning and management

  • Use social media to gather input and communicate.
  • Run transparent digital meetings.
  • Post policy proposals and ask for comment.
  • Support district community communications.

5. Ask for a plan to provide universal access to digital learning

6. Ask for an online learning plan

  • As recommended by Digital Learning Now!, states and districts should expand access to full and part time online learning.
  • The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (where I'm a director) offers great policy advice on online learning.
  • There's no reason that every high school student in the U.S. shouldn't have access to every AP course, every foreign language, and every high level STEM course taught by an expert.

7. Ask for a blended learning plan

  • Every school should receive support in adopting or developing a blended learning model that extends the reach of great teachers and personalizes learning for every student (watch for a January SmartSeries paper on this topic).

8. Ask for a one room schoolhouse plan

9. Ask for a zero base the budget

  • Shift to digital materials by 2015.
  • Reallocate $250 per student for universal access by 2015.
  • Fund new school/program development.
  • Apply for waivers (innovation/charter status).

10. Ask your state for a new funding model

  • Districts/networks should receive equalized and weighted funding.
  • Funding should be portable for students.
  • Funding to districts/providers should have a small performance-based component to incentivize completion and achievement (watch for a February SmartSeries paper on this topic).
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The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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