Most districts put "innovation" at the top of their agendas these days, but too few are innovating with a purpose. The Reynoldsburg City School District (RCS) is becoming an exemplar for how to unleash principals' and teachers' creativity in meaningful ways that are guided but not prescribed or limited by a central office agenda.
"What am I prepared to do to improve all facets of my school?" This is the driving question in Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times by Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in New Milford, New Jersey.
The local NPR station ran a great story by America Abroad Media (@America_Abroad) about how government helps and harms entrepreneurs (available on iTunes). Interest in job creation and the growth in the number of incubators makes this a timely topic.
Strong states and common expectations are fundamental to the future of K-12 education in America. New tools create the opportunity for new schools; standards and states are the framework for quality at scale.
"We believe there's been a lack of transformative innovation in K-12," according to Joel Rose, founder of nonprofit New Classrooms. His website proposes, "an alternate credible vision for what's possible in schools."
It was a visit to Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto that inspired Scott Ellis to "really dive into blended learning." The math class using Khan Academy also impressed 60 Minutes (here's a short video description). Scott had five important observations.
The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education commissioned the Brightlines team led by Sir Michael Barber to consider the future of education in Massachusetts. The New Opportunity to Lead is a comprehensive 120-page report that sets out an agenda for the next 20 years, beyond the Common Core and standards-based reform.
A former governor and an ed school dean met in a bar...they discussed the seeming incompatibility of digital learning with differentiated instruction and the scripted curricula mandated by many school districts.
Recognizing that "a video library probably won't change practice," Pat Wasley set out to make Teaching Channel (Tch) an interactive community. The former dean of the University of Washington College of Education turned edupreneur took over the Oakland nonprofit two years ago.
The Mooresville Graded School District recently adopted requirements for four large scale multimedia projects in 3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th grade. Beginning next year, students would add products from these projects to their digital portfolio.