An item from Monday’s inbox…
An item from Monday’s inbox…
Another item from Thursday’s inbox…
I’m pleased to announce that the Clayton Christensen Institute released a study today authored by Clayton Christensen, Heather Staker, and myself introducing a fundamentally new concept into the world of disruptive innovation: the theory of hybrids. Although there continues to be two basic types of innovations—those that sustain the status quo and those that disrupt it—the study outlines how “hybrids” often emerge as a prelude to pure disruption in the category of a sustaining innovation.
Using a combination of both old and new technologies, hybrids are evident in a number of industries—cars that use both electric power and gasoline; banks that promote branch locations and online services; and retail stores that augment in-person transactions with robust websites. As our paper describes, hybrids are also apparent in K–12 blended learning. Expanding on our prior research, this new theory allows us to classify the models of blended learning as either disruptive or sustaining, and then outline the implications for education leaders.
We hope and anticipate that this analysis will be a useful resource as it helps blended-learning practitioners: 1) decide which strategy is most appropriate given available resources; and 2) anticipate how specific programs will improve student learning outcomes in different ways.
Michael B. Horn
Co-founder and Executive Director, Education
Clayton Christensen Institute
Join us in transforming public education through disruptive innovation.
Donate online at www.christenseninstitute.org/donate.
Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
2929 Campus Drive
San Mateo, California 94403-2537
An event from an organization that is becoming more neo-liberal in at least their events, if not their reporting as well.
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Blended Learning in the Math ClassroomSchools around the country are starting to blend online learning into their instructional design as a means of personalizing students’ learning experiences. But with the myriad options for structuring the combination of online and face-to-face learning, teachers and administrators are faced with tough decisions on how to best implement technology for their students. In this webinar, our guests will explore the different blended-learning models that schools are using to support math instruction. They’ll discuss national trends emerging around blended-learning math programs, as well as take an up-close look at the challenges and successes one school has experienced with the blended math model.
Kaylie Dienelt Reed, lead teacher, Acton Academy, Austin, Texas
Heather Staker, education senior research fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation (formerly Innosight Institute), and co-author, research report “Classifying K-12 Blended Learning”
This webinar will be moderated by Liana Heitin, associate editor, Education Week Teacher.
Register now for this free live webinar.
Webinar Date: Thursday, May 30, 2 to 3 p.m. ET
Can’t attend? All Education Week webinars are archived and accessible “on demand” for up to four months after the original live-streaming date.
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Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is the publisher of Education Week, Digital Directions, Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook, edweek.org, teachermagazine.org, DigitalDirections.org, and TopSchoolJobs.org. Copyright © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education.
A neo-liberal perspective on school funding and blended learning…
National Review: May 20, 2013 Incentivize Actual Learning
School Dollars Should Follow Success, Not Just Enrollment
By Sean Kennedy and Don Soifer
The decision of the Louisiana supreme court to strike down as unconstitutional the funding mechanism of the state’s school-voucher program is a major blow to school-choice supporters, but the biggest problem they face is not the courts. It’s a funding system that pays schools for failure.
The court’s decision rested on the voucher program’s diversion of funds that are supposed to be allotted to public schools on a per-pupil basis. It ruled that while the voucher program itself is legal, the funds for it cannot come from that specific allotment, which is earmarked for public schools only. The state can continue the voucher program if it finds the money elsewhere in the state budget.
Links More on EducationLink to this Article Louisiana, like most states, funds schools according to enrollment. Federal grants for schools with high-needs populations supplement state funding on the same basis: the more students, the more funding. Despite the widely reported recent progress made by schools in the Louisiana Recovery School District, which comprises most public schools in New Orleans, the policy has utterly failed. Allocations per pupil, adjusted for inflation, have quadrupled over the past 50 years, but outcomes haven’t improved: Scores are flat, and the achievement gaps between racial and economic groups persist. Today, only about a quarter of Louisiana’s fourth-graders are proficient in math, reading, writing, or science, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Instead of being paid for putting warm bodies in seats, schools should be rewarded for student learning. Dollars should follow success.
In Louisiana, per-pupil funding is mandated by the state constitution, which requires amounts to be set according to a formula approved by the legislature. The amounts vary by parish and city school district, depending on local tax revenues, but are allocated per student.
Under this model, the worst schools and the most effective schools in the state receive the same dollar amount per student. Even worse, many state and federal grants send supplemental dollars to the lowest-performing schools. If the schools and students succeed, the funding dries up.
Arizona’s legislature is considering a commonsense change to incentivize success: Pay schools to perform well. The Arizona plan would give school districts “per pupil achievement payments” that reward high scores on the state’s A-F report card. The plan requires that schools be given flexibility in deciding how to spend the state’s allotments, to address specific student needs instead of just paying teachers more under union contracts.
At the same time, measures are needed to hold principals accountable for outcomes. When California’s chronically underperforming Oakland Unified School District implemented principal-autonomy and principal-accountability measures to great success over the past decade, the gap between Oakland’s high-poverty, low-performing schools and its wealthy, successful schools closed dramatically, and student test scores across all race and income categories jumped. It turned out that principals, when given autonomy and held accountable, knew a lot better than did central-office bureaucrats how to spend dollars most effectively.
But changes to improve schools’ environments for learning should go further still. Louisiana should start rewarding schools with more funds when their students demonstrate measurable progress. Loosening seat-time requirements for students would allow them to learn at their own pace, and would allow teachers to target interventions to maximize their effectiveness.
Powerful new instructional models, such as blended learning — which personalizes student learning by allowing targeted remediation and acceleration — are challenging the notion that all students learn best when they are taught the same thing in the same way at the same time. Schools that practice blended learning teach toward subject mastery — students can learn at their own pace, and teachers using data to identify what students know and what they don’t know can respond accordingly.
The nation’s top blended-learning schools, such as those in California’s Rocketship Education and Arizona’s Carpe Diem charter schools, are now among the highest-performing schools in their home states. These schools are establishing new blended-learning campuses in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Washington, D.C. This model, which specializes in shrinking the achievement gaps affecting poor and minority students, has been adopted by New Orleans’s FirstLine Schools and could be extremely effective across Louisiana.
Formulas for public-school funding fail to reward schools for successfully tailoring learning to every student’s needs. If students can master a year of math in six months with targeted interventions and extra resources, education dollars should follow those students when they are ready to advance. With 74 percent of Louisiana’s fourth-graders unable to achieve basic proficiency in reading, a funding scheme that rewarded a school that improved reading proficiency would incentivize and push adoption of best practices.
The voucher decision, based on a misguided devotion to funding equity, should force school-choice supporters to rethink how all schools are funded. If schools are paid to perform, even private schools will be eligible for vouchers if they demonstrate excellence.
Just as shoppers would not spend their money at a grocery store with the worst selection and highest prices, taxpayers should expect their education dollars to be spent in ways that reward quality and excellence. School budgets should promote actual learning.
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From Saturday’s inbox…
Blended Learning, Teacher Evaluation, and Parent Involvement: Download Spotlights From Education Week — For mobile version click here.New Spotlights From Education Week
Education Week Spotlights contain essential news and commentary on the big issues. These Spotlights provide the information you need to understand the most talked-about topics.
Download New Spotlights for Free:
Blended Learning and Adaptive Instruction: Take a look at blended learning and adaptive instruction models, mixing face-to-face instruction with online learning. Teacher Evaluation: Explore the multiple measures being used to evaluate teacher performance and see why researchers urge caution in using ‘value added’ evaluations. Parent and Community Involvement: Make parent groups a part of the district decisionmaking process and increase community engagement with your school.
Other Spotlights Available for Free Download:
- Common Core for English-Language Learners: See how districts are making the standards accessible to ELLs.
- Math and the Common Core: Learn how teachers are preparing students for the math standards.
- Credit Recovery and Online Learning: Discover how districts are using online learning to reach students beyond traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms.
- Literacy and the Common Core: Understand how curriculum and assessments are shifting as a result of the English/language arts standards.
- Creating School and District Leaders: Build leadership capacity in your school and district.
- College Readiness and Access: Examine districts where students are being prepared for the academic and financial demands of college.
- Data-Driven Decisionmaking: Learn about successful efforts in data-driven reform and put your school’s data into practice.
Looking for other topics? Check out Education Week‘s full series of Spotlights.
Each Spotlight is delivered in an easy-to-read, easy-to-use digital format, with numerous in-depth articles in one convenient PDF file.
Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is the publisher of Education Week, Digital Directions, Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook, edweek.org, teachermagazine.org, DigitalDirections.org and TopSchoolJobs.org. Copyright © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education.