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February 08, 2016

12 On-Ramps for Personalized and Competency-Based Learning

It is challenging and controversial to convert an entire school system to a personalized and competency-based approach but you don't have to do it all at once. These dozen entry points provide places to start with limited investment and risk. With a few working examples in place, it creates local reference points and field trip opportunities.

September 02, 2015

Micro-Credentials: The Future of Professional Learning

Like students, educators deserve a clear map of what they need to know and be able to do, multiple ways to learn, and options for demonstrating mastery. In most cases we think progress will be marked with a stackable series of micro-credentials. A system of micro-credentials is how educators will be prepared and how they will be recognized for their professional learning.

August 07, 2015

How School Districts Work

School districts have a theory of action but don't or can't express exactly what it is. Naming the theories in use is the first step to designing a system of schools that serves a community well.

June 17, 2015

Next Generation Schools at Scale: 49 New NGLC Grantees

Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), an initiative of Educause, announced today that, through six regional programs, 49 school teams received grants as part of a $25 million K­-12 initiative to create new and transformed secondary schools. This includes 29 new or redesigned K­-12 schools that will open this fall. When these regional fund schools open, there will be more than 100 schools serving 50,000 students with transformed teaching and learning models.

April 15, 2015

Path to Personalization: Better Models and Better Tests

Gene Wilhoit, Linda Pittenger and Carmen Coleman, recently led a discussion about the ways that technology is improving formative assessment and the opportunity that it creates to rethink big year-end tests. The group identified five of next steps on the path forward that includes learner profiles, new solutions, and linking formative data to standards. Overall, new developments will mean a gradual reduction in the size of and reliance in heavyweight summative assessment to smaller, less frequent tests that check the validity of local assessments.

February 25, 2015

Journalism Teacher's Classroom and Book Encourage Shooting for the Moon

For nearly 30 years, Esther Wojcicki taught journalism classes in a portable building at Palo Alto High School. Now students learn valuable skills from Wojcicki in a beautiful Media Arts Center. Her new book shares lessons from the program.

January 20, 2015

The Quest for an AA Degree in High School

Early college students have the opportunity to earn college credit, up to a full associates degree with their high school diploma. The innovative opportunity is working at Quest Early College—last year over 70 percent of graduates left with a diploma from Lone Star College as well as Quest.

January 13, 2015

Where is the Accountability in Education?

We must hold ourselves responsible for imposing accountability in education. Why we need credible evaluations and content and programs to show ability for renewed competition to improve the tools we give our teachers.

December 22, 2014

New Staffing Structures Piloted in Nashville Schools

Innovative staffing strategies are being deployed by a group of districts including Nashville Public Schools. The effort is led by Public Impact, an organization identifying and testing strategies to extend the influence of great teachers and improve working conditions and learning opportunities for all educators.

November 06, 2014

Elevating and Empowering World Language Teachers

A Getting Smart paper produced in partnership with Rosetta Stone, explores the potential of world language educators to lead the shift to school and district-wide blended, competency-based, deeper learning models. A follow-up to "The Next Generation of World Language Learning."

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