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November 18, 2012

Yes to Blended, But Maine Should Authorize Virtual Schools

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.

November 16, 2012

Addressing the Placement Gateway With Diagnostics & Instruction

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.

November 15, 2012

Free College Courses, Cheap Credits, Flexible Pathways

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.

November 07, 2012

Executives & Academics Partner to Advance STEM Education & Careers

Most secondary students are bored and there aren't enough STEM graduates from college. These problems are related.

October 31, 2012

Non-cognitive Skills: Bad Name, Really Important

Two recent reports point to the importance of so called non-cognitive skills to success in college and work. A University of Chicago literature review funded by the Lumina and Raikes foundations said, "Students must develop sets of behaviors, skills, attitudes, and strategies that are crucial to academic performance in their classes."

October 26, 2012

Competency-Based Learning: 10 Elements, 10 Tools, & 10 Policies

A policymaker at the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Virtual School Symposium (VSS) said, "We want to advance competency-based learning, what kind of bill should we introduce?" Let's start by looking at the 10 design elements of a competency-based system (an update of a May blog).

October 24, 2012

National Academy Foundation Partners With ConnectEDU For Real-Time Student Data

This July the National Academy Foundation (NAF), a network of more than 460 academies across the U.S. serving more than 60,000 students, launched a student certification assessment system to drive real college and career readiness. Recently, NAF partnered with ConnectEDU to track college and career readiness by providing real-time reports on engagement and academic progress.

October 23, 2012

Better Online Schools & Learning Options

Virtual schools and online courses work better for some kids than others. Some of variance is provider based; some of it is student based. In most cases, there is not very good data on students or providers. A new report explained, "Most state accountability and data systems can't easily provide the information about individual student growth on mastery outcomes that is necessary to produce the answer."

October 18, 2012

Racing to the Top in Delaware

The Rodel Foundation hosted the fifth Vision 2015 Conference. The First State scored first in the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant competition largely because of the vision, organizing, and grantmaking of the Rodel Foundation and its Executive Director Paul Herdman.

October 17, 2012

10 Strategies to Promote Deeper Learning

Author Bernie Trilling asked, "What would it take for more students to benefit from deeper learning?" Trilling was referring to education that pushes beyond the basics, is engaging and challenging, and prepares young people for college and careers.

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