Some friends are working on a paper on the topic of common standards and innovation. The primary question is how and whether the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will accelerate or slow innovation.


New York City schools have been among the most innovative in the country as discussed last week. NYC is home to the most education industry leaders and the second most prolific tech startup and EdTech hotspot on the planet (after the Bay Area).


Good schools have a common intellectual mission. They prioritize, encourage, measure, and discuss important outcomes. This week we had the privilege of spending time with educators at Valley Christian Schools in Cerritos, California. At VCS, the 5Cs translate their mission into practice.


College Board, the longtime leader in college credit opportunities in high school, is changing its Advanced Placement (AP) approach to emphasize depth over breadth, improving formative assessment, and adding an integrative experience.


I'm trying to square two things that happened last week. The Nellie Mae Foundation issued a great report called Making Mastery Work: A Close Up View of Competency Education (MMW), a visit to 11 cool schools.


The implementation of Common Core State Standards is intended to create change in our nation's public education system ... not put change in the pockets of the American publishing industry.


"New York City is probably the UR-example of a creative city. It has always been about creating the substrate conditions on which innate aspirational energies could anchor and thrive," said Steven Hodas, tech entrepreneur now serving as Executive Director of InnovateNYC for the NYC Department of Education.


Maine is doing a lot right in education. The Maine Cohort for Customized Learning is a group of nine districts leading the way in meeting the needs of every student.


For many young people, placement exams are a hidden gateway in the system. Students often assume that with a high school diploma they can walk on to a community college campus and start working on a degree but they flunk the placement exam and end up in non-credit developmental education courses. That spells the beginning of the end of college for many young people. But that placement trap is beginning to close as states make the exams and preparation available in high school.


Contributions to free post-secondary learning opportunities have been breathtaking this year. Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been around for a while but the number and variety of courses, the investment, and aggregate enrollment exploded this year.


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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