Public schools' struggles to innovate aren't unique to education either. Businesses struggle consistently with the innovator's dilemma--the ability to prioritize disruptive innovations that would cannibalize their existing business.
June 2014 Archives
By: Frederick Hess Creating a great education system isn't just a matter of practice, because rules, regulations, contracts, and cultures can stymie even the most committed educator. But it can't just be a matter of policy, because what really matters is what educators do in schools--and policies can make people do things but they can't make them do them well (see school turnarounds, teacher evaluation, et al.). Successful education reform ultimately requires both policy change and also the kind of school, system, and teacher leadership able and willing to deliver on new possibilities. This all sounds kind of "duh" so ...
We are, let's face it, a Tower of Babel when it comes to defining what we're all doing here. That sounds disparaging, but I don't actually mean it that way. Reimagining the desired outcomes and the common student experience of America's public schools is a messy, chaotic business - and that's what real change looks like.
For the first fifteen years of my career, I had a stubborn "kids' lives are at stake" mindset that championed certainty and perfection. I've since realized that what kids' lives really depend on is me having a growth mindset that champions curiosity over certainty and iteration over perfection
People in Boise don't spend a lot of time talking about themselves or their accomplishments. They just get on with the work at hand, and in their free time enjoy the state's abundant natural beauty.
The era of standards-based reform has brought significant progress to America over the last 25 years. Especially in states that pursued it with consistency—Massachusetts, Maryland and Texas, for example—the results are clear.
After a year of research and outreach, today the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and Internet released a new report that describes a vision for an approach to teaching and learning that places the student at the center.
There are a lot of interesting things to say about the Baltimore venture ecosystem. The Baltimore/Washington area contains a shockingly high percentage of the most successful education businesses, including Laureate Education, American Public Education Inc., Blackboard, and 2U.
In order to affect positive change in education we must stand on the shoulders of giants. Education is multi-faceted, multi-layered, and often under-resourced; it can benefit from coordinated, strategic and engaged partnerships that span from the classroom to the White House.
Technology purchasing at scale can be difficult. The possible pitfalls are many, and cash-strapped education institutions are generally less equipped than most to navigate the intricacies of a major purchase of devices. As the trend toward blended learning gains momentum, getting technology purchases right becomes ever more important.
We tend to think of schools as places where young people gain the knowledge and skills that will carry them forward into college, life and successful careers. That's absolutely right, though truly great schools build their academic program around a strong focus on positive youth development. They recognize and prioritize in their practice that young people need the consistent support of caring adults