Recently we highlighted "35 High Schools Worth Visiting." That led to a request for a similar compilation of inspiring elementary and middle schools. Far from exhaustive, our list includes schools that achieve extraordinary results, create powerful learning experiences, and/or have created innovative technology blends.


When I learned that Pearson was in the process of working with the highly regarded New Leaders organization on a principal development program, I wanted to learn more. I called Lee Peters, the marketing lead for Pearson's School Achievement Services business, who outlined some of the professional learning available through Pearson's growing portfolio of teacher and leader effectiveness offerings.


John Dewey is alive and well on the southern shore of Lake Erie. You can hear his influence loud and clear in a handful of inspired teachers ready to make change at Lakewood High School in west Cleveland. They won a Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grant and intend to open a Maker Space in the next year or two that will eventually educate 400 high school students.


As a big believer in the potential of blended learning to personalize instruction, I'm always excited to hear about schools shifting to blended learning. As a big believer in education as the most important social justice issue of our time, I get even more excited when these schools bring personalized, blended learning to traditionally-underserved student populations


Like the majority of public school districts in America, Denver Public Schools is rethinking the opportunity set and reshaping its vision of the desired future state. Despite producing the most rapid academic gains in the state, less than half of DPS graduate prepared for college and careers.


New tools and school models present a historic opportunity to better prepare young people for college, careers, and citizenship. It's not unreasonable to think that we could double the percentage of well-prepared teens before the end of the decade.


Last year we published a list of 14 high schools worth visiting. We've visited and profiled some great new schools this year so it was time to update our list. Following are 35 schools that personalize and blend learning; they challenge students with real work and ask them to show what they know. Time to hit the road!


Lyle Kirtman has been coaching leaders to better performance for 30 years. His Future Management Systems works with 750 organizations including about 300 school districts.


The shift to Common Core and digital learning is a great opportunity but it will also take an ecosystem of creative capacity. That's why high on my recent list of 10 Things Every State Should Do Now was "support an incubator like 4.0 Schools."


After the iNACOL conference in Orlando, I stopped by Florida Virtual School, the nation's first and largest online public statewide school. It was a lot more fun than a trip to Disney and I learned 10 things about their success.


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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