Gene Wilhoit, Linda Pittenger and Carmen Coleman, recently led a discussion about the ways that technology is improving formative assessment and the opportunity that it creates to rethink big year-end tests. The group identified five of next steps on the path forward that includes learner profiles, new solutions, and linking formative data to standards. Overall, new developments will mean a gradual reduction in the size of and reliance in heavyweight summative assessment to smaller, less frequent tests that check the validity of local assessments.


Match Beyond combines College for America, an innovative new competency-based degree program from Southern New Hampshire University, with intensive coaching, academic support and jobs counseling from Match Education. The goal of Match Beyond is to produce high degree completion rates and employment for low-income high school graduates across Boston who either never went to college or who left high school before completion. Andew Balson leads Match Beyond and believes the model, if successful, can be easily replicated across the US since it is, at its core, an easily repeated partnership between an online degree provider and local coaching service.


What does innovative learning and EdReform have in common? Equity. We explore the recent history of assessment (the intended and unintended consequences), the role that equity plays, the need to synthesize EdReform aims, and the opportunity of innovation.


Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia is transforming the opportunity set for 500 urban students, with an inquiry-based approach and an emphasis on technology.


The Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) program is contributing to the changes made by districts to personalize learning and blend learning environments. In many cases, it's working. And, new roles are emerging for teacher leaders as a result.


The Blended Learning Summit (#MPSblended) hosted by Meriden Public Schools gathered blended learning leaders, vendors and local teachers to collaborate and share practical blended strategies. Meriden Public Schools is a great example of a district making progress on personalized learning, student access to technology, teacher leader identification and cultivation, and blended learning implementation.


The Foundation for Excellence in Education launched EdPolicy Leaders Online, a new resource to help education policymakers better understand and implement education reform efforts. These new Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, feature nearly 40 experts across the education landscape including superintendents, senators, parents, policy makers, teachers, and CEOs.


Districts can't rely solely on graduation requirements and state test scores as a proxy for quality education aims and measures. Students and community members deserve a more compelling and complete set of goals and metrics. It remains challenging to describe the aims and measures of a rigorous well-rounded education. Here are some examples of schools and districts setting the bar beyond basic reading, writing, and math.


School district chief academic officers know how to build and run managed instruction regimes. But now they are either pivoting to blended learning or getting a lot of pressure to consider an update. We explore the difference between managed instruction and next generation learning, and share 10 elements of comprehensive solutions to the challenge of helping chief academic officers reframe their work.


Lisa Duty of The Learning Accelerator, a Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and Highlander Institute funding partner, outlines the Rhode Islands's commitment to a blended learning future. She describes how the state is developing its new five-year strategic plan that's engaging RIDE's Ambassador Design Team, a team of Rhode Islander educators, parents, students, and community members from diverse backgrounds.


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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