Guest blog from My School Information Design Challenge judges Duncan Swain, Sandy Speicher and Leslie Ziegler highlighting how design can enable and empower schools.


School leadership was challenging when it was a technical challenge—a largely understood task of optimizing the old age cohort standards-based model. With an improving opportunity set brought about by new tools and new school models, the job is increasingly adaptive.


Course Access programs allow students to participate in part-time online learning. A half a dozen states have taken steps to expand access, particularly for high school students, to advanced courses, electives, world languages, and career and technical courses. According to a report issued by The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Course Access, "Is a mechanism by which students can gain equitable access to a variety of courses in a programmatic effort to increase access, quality and equity in public education."


Both struggling for relevance in the learning revolution, business schools and schools of education are different animals. Serving different sectors, they have unique and discipline-based approaches.


The pastor was livid, he was so mad he could hardly talk (and he's really good at talking). He had just come from a second day of school meeting that didn't go well. The day before, his son came home and told him that all of his friends were in a different math class and his class was using the same book as last year.


Three of my favorite policy analysts kicked off a blog series intended to prompt a productive dialogue around fixing school accountability systems (#TheNewAccountability). Paul Hill and Robin Lake, CRPE, and Michael Petrilli,Fordham Institute, are equity advocates that have advanced a portfolio of options approach to urban education


The shift to blended, personalized, and competency-based learning suggests a dramatic change in state education policy. Legislators at the NCSL Jobs Summit in San Jose last week recognized that their state education code is a patchwork of outdated provisions with a few recently won improvements. We discuss the 7 keys to education and employment outlined in Smart Cities. I suggested that states should plan to rewrite their education code. A couple veteran legislators pushed back and asked, "With all the competing pressures, how would that actually work today? Push or pull? There are two basic change mechanisms. Traditionally, promising practices ...


New tools and schools make clear the potential for innovation. New ways to personalize learning, encourage more student agency, and extend the reach of great teachers signal the potential for step function improvement in outcomes (i.e., a much larger percentage of young people career and citizenship ready).


In 2011, with over a million resources online, Alex Grodd and Erin Osborn, BetterLesson Co-Founders, noticed that a relatively small percentage of teachers accounted for a large percentage of all lessons downloaded on the curriculum sharing website. For the 300,000 teacher users, it was apparent that they were looking for quality more than quantity--most teachers prefer a couple of vetted links to 500 responses to a search.


Last week I suggested that more than readiness, high school students should actually experience success in what's next so they are able to plan next steps with knowledge and confidence. Reading with comprehension, writing with clarity, and versatility in problem solving are critically important skills and are assessed in classrooms and increasingly by state tests. But secondary education is a period where young people are beginning to understand who they are and what they could become.


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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