I am a big fan of Paul Graham's writing, especially his list of frighteningly ambitious startup ideas - big problems that will take incredible persistence to tackle. With that in mind, here are some experiments I'd like to see someone try in education next year. I think we'd learn a lot about how to make frighteningly better schools.


We've been investigating performance assessment tools so we were interested when we heard that CTB McGraw-Hill had added performance-based items to its widely use Acuity platform. We call CTB President Ellen Haley for the scoop.


It's been a big year for innovations in learning. If 2012 was the year of the MOOC, 2013 was the year blended learning went mainstream--even schools that were just layering tabs on top of an obsolete model called it "blended." The following are 14 developments to watch for in 2014.


Six months ago, New Tech Network made a significant shift in our thinking. For more than a decade, our school coaches had worked to guide adults on campus toward a set of behaviors that were the hallmarks of the New Tech model (i.e. using projects with entry documents and rubrics, assessing students on 21st Century skills like critical thinking and collaboration, or using a digital course agenda).


College and career readiness means a lot more than passing a community college entrance exam (although that is the minimum bar for all kids). It requires a set of deeper learning experiences that result in the knowledge, skills and dispositions young people will need to succeed.


Now that the world's knowledge is widely and freely available, why are we still so largely uneducated? Why are there still big employment skill gaps? Why is civic knowledge so low? Why is the wealth gap widening not shrinking?


Is your nonprofit making a difference in your community? Are you starting to think about national expansion? Here is some advice from five experts.


The stock market is at record highs these days. The Dow crossed 16,000 two weeks ago and the NASDAQ reached 4,000 this week. Consumer confidence is up and tax receipts have recovered to 2008 levels.


David Ruff is the executive director of the Great Schools Partnership and coordinates the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC), a project of the Great Schools Partnership in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. He favors a proficiency-based education model.


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.


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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