Virtual School Meanderings

April 17, 2014

16 April – Your Daily Stock Summary for LRN

The K12, Inc. close from yesterday…

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News Headlines For Your Stocks

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April 16, 2014

Plugged In | 04.16.14 | (powered by iNACOL)

A final word from the neo-liberals for today…

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PLUGGED IN  04.16.14
powered by iNACOL…

Registration is now open for the 2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium

ICYMI: Top 3 stories from Tuesday’s Plugged In… (read)


Summit’s iPad experiments
Bend Bulletin | Bend, OR
Leo Dolan, a Summit High School junior temporarily encumbered by a foot cast, can pinpoint the moment when the game “2048″ took over his school. The first download, Dolan surmises, was by a friend of his on a lacrosse trip to Boise. Dolan was the (read)
Graham Local Schools approves new digital academy
News-Sun | Springfield, OH
The Graham Local School District Board of Education approved the creation of a new online academy earlier this week, just months after the district separated ties with its previously sponsored charter school, The AB Graham Academy. Graham Online (read)
Rethinking Math Teaching
Getting Smart
I’ve recently been binging on math-related TED Talks and all the great ideas out there almost make me wish I taught math. While I have yet to create a museum exhibit about math, wouldn’t it be great to teach it like something people want to learn instead of (read)
Bauso: Using technology in the Montessori classroom
The Citizen | Auburn, NY
Today, it’s common to see a child on a cellphone or iPad. Children have more access to electronics and devices are being marketed specifically to them. There is no escaping technology. As a Montessori directress for over 15 years, I’ve personally worked (read)
Superintendent Janet Barresi opposes bill prohibiting tests not required by federal law
Tulsa World | Tulsa, OK
The Oklahoma State Department of Education issued a statement Tuesday announcing State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s opposition to legislation that would eliminate three state tests in social studies and geography. Authored by State Senators Mark ( read)
How Educators Can Protect Students’ Data from Security Breaches
Every day, teachers are responsible for maintaining numerous logins, passwords, data, and other private information about their students. As chief technology officer in the modern century classroom, an educator’s role becomes more complex (and (read)
Why rural schools need online courses
WDBJ | Roanoke, VA
An innovative learning tool made its big debut in an unlikely place today. It’s an online, Spanish language learning program that students at Highland County High School took for a spin. Whether it’s shrinking budgets, lack of interest, or a combination of the two (read)
How laws (and judges) contemplate innovation
Christensen Institute
People working in education policy often talk about the virtues of “opening up” space for innovation. Besides overtures of deregulation, this effort often manifests in creating new policies or funding streams that spur new approaches to education or that scale ( read)
Homeschooling away from home (Commentary)
Baltimore Sun | Baltimore, MD
Maryland home education policy needs to be updated to give it more flexibility, to the benefit of all students. Current policy requires that students take either all of their classes or none of them at public school, which means homeschool students like myself (read)
Keeping Student Data Private
THE Journal
We live in an era of Big Data and small devices. The combination of mobile computing and always-connected, cloud-based software creates enormous freedom for students and teachers – and enormous headaches for the technology officers tasked with (read)
Will Digital Humanities #Disrupt the University?
It’s no secret that the humanities – literature, history, philosophy, the foreign languages – are suffering from a precipitous plummet in higher education. But hark! Digital humanities are here to rescue the field – or maybe just kill it off for good. Some 10 percent of (read)
SETDA Now Accepting Applications From Educational Technology Startups for Emerging Private Sector Partners Program
Press Release
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders, announced today that it will begin accepting applications for the second (read)
Edgenuity Unveils New Lesson Mastery Report to Enhance Educator Experience
Press Release
Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning solutions, today announced the release of a new Lesson Mastery report designed to enrich the teaching experience for online and blended learning instructors. The Lesson Mastery report offers at (read)
Computer Software Accurately Predicts Student Test Performance
Press Release
Emotient, the leading provider of facial expression recognition data and analysis, and the University of California, San Diego announced publication of a joint study by two Emotient co-founders affiliated with UC San Diego, together with researchers from Virginia ( read)
Independent Studies Prove Effectiveness of Apex Learning Digital Curriculum
Press Release
Apex Learning, the leading provider of blended and virtual learning solutions to the nation’s schools, announced the results of three independent studies to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s digital curriculum. The results revealed the positive impact the (read)


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Straight A’s: CareerConnect Grant Winners; Duncan on Education Budget; E-Rate; Ad Lit; & Equity

One from the neo-liberals…

Straight A's: Public Education Policy and Progress

Volume 14, No. 7
April 14, 2014

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In This Issue:

GET CONNECTED: Obama Announces Winners of $107 Million in Federal Grants to Better Prepare High School Students for Today’s In-Demand Jobs

BUDGET BEAT: Secretary Duncan Discusses President’s Budget Request Before House Appropriations Subcommittee

E-RATE UPDATE: Alliance for Excellent Education Calls on FCC to Boost Funding for E-Rate Program

ADVANCING ADOLESCENT LITERACY: Pennsylvania Literacy Program Improves Student Opportunities, Outcomes, New Alliance Report Finds

FALLING OUT OF THE LEAD: New Ed Trust Report Presents Stark High School Experiences Among High-Achieving Low-Income and Students of Color, Compared to White Peers

GET CONNECTED: Obama Announces Winners of $107 Million in Federal Grants to Better Prepare High School Students for Today’s In-Demand Jobs

On April 7, President Obama announced twenty-four winners of $107 million in federal grants that reward school districts for integrating real-life work experience into academic curriculum. The grants, which range from $2.2 million to $7 million, fall under the Obama administration’s Youth CareerConnect program, an investment that the president believes will prepare today’s students for the “in-demand jobs of the future.”

“We challenged America’s high schools … [and asked], ‘What can you do to make sure your students learn the skills that businesses are looking for in high-demand fields?’,” Obama said. “And we asked high schools to develop partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on real-life applications for the fields of the future—fields like science and technology and engineering and math. And part of the reason we have to do this now is because other countries, they’ve got a little bit of a lead on us on some of these areas.”

The White House describes the program as a national competition administered by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor, to “start redesigning America’s high schools for the 21st-century economy.” Schools are encouraged to partner with local businesses, organizations, and education agencies to incorporate on-the-job skills into traditional classroom learning. Upon mastering these skills, students in these programs across the country are able to earn certificates in different professional fields.

Read the rest of this article…

BUDGET BEAT: Secretary Duncan Discusses President’s Budget Request Before House Appropriations Subcommittee

In his April 8 testimony before the U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Appropriations Subcommittee on President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget request, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan defended the president’s decision to fund new competitive grant programs while flat-funding formula grant programs such as Title I. Duncan stressed the need for high standards, but he said they did not need to be “common” and highlighted the president’s proposals to close achievement gaps, expand preschool access, support educators’ use of technology and data, and make college more affordable in order to ensure students can compete in a global economy.

“The fact is that we are falling further behind our international competitors educationally,” Duncan said. “We should recognize that as an urgent wake-up call. But we are sleeping through the alarm. In the U.S., we are still just talking about the steps many leading countries are actually taking to prepare their students for a competitive global economy. Falling behind educationally now will hurt our country economically for generations.”

Subcommittee members from both political parties pressed Duncan on Obama’s continued reliance on competitive grant programs. In his FY 2015 budget, Obama proposed a new Race to the Top–Equity and Opportunity initiative, which will focus on improving the academic performance of students in the nation’s highest-poverty schools, and would reserve a portion of funds from state formula grant programs, such as career and technical education and special education, for competitive awards. In response, Duncan noted that approximately 89 percent of the U.S. Department of Education’s budget goes to formula programs, compared to 11 percent that goes to competitive programs. He also said that providing larger grants to innovators for models that could be replicated would go further in the long run than spreading smaller amounts across the country.

Read the rest of this article…


E-RATE UPDATE: Alliance for Excellent Education Calls on FCC to Boost Funding for E-Rate Program

In comments submitted April 7, the Alliance for Excellent Education called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize the federal E-rate program in order to lay the foundation for expanding the program through increased funding. The comments were in response to the E-Rate Public Notice issued by the FCC on March 6, regarding its plan to expand, modernize, and simplify E-rate, the federal government’s program for connecting the nation’s schools and libraries to the internet.

“The common-sense measures currently under consideration by the FCC are a necessary first step toward the permanent expansion of the E-rate program. I applaud the FCC’s progress and urge them to quickly modernize the program so that additional funding can be secured and used effectively and efficiently to provide 99 percent of America’s students with access to high-speed broadband within the next five years,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia.

Read the rest of this article…


ADVANCING ADOLESCENT LITERACY: Pennsylvania Literacy Program Improves Student Opportunities, Outcomes, New Alliance Report Finds

As one of only six states receiving a federal Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant, Pennsylvania has designed and implemented an innovative program that focuses on improved instruction and interventions to ensure every student is literate and graduates from high school ready for college and a career. A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education describes Pennsylvania’s grant initiative and highlights the state’s emphasis on professional learning and development to improve instruction, and ultimately, student achievement outcomes in literacy. The report, Advancing Adolescent Literacy: Pennsylvania’s Keystones to Opportunity Comprehensive Literacy Program, includes a set of policy recommendations at the local, state, and federal levels.

“In a time when students must have reading and writing skills that compare with—and can compete with—their international peers, Pennsylvania has created a road map for improving literacy that all schools, districts, and states should observe closely,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia.

Pennsylvania, along with Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Texas, will receive a five-year federal SRCL grant, the report notes. Subsequently, through a competitive application process, Pennsylvania awarded $36.7 million to fifty-three districts and two charter schools to improve literacy instruction and outcomes for students with the greatest needs.

Read the rest of this article…


FALLING OUT OF THE LEAD: New Ed Trust Report Presents Stark High School Experiences Among High-Achieving Low-Income and Students of Color, Compared to White Peers

Black and Latino students from low-income families who enter high school as high achievers typically finish high school with lower grades, lower Advanced Placement (AP) exam pass rates, and lower SAT and ACT scores than their high-achieving white or more financially advantaged peers, according to Falling Out of the Lead: Following High Achievers Through High School and Beyond, a new report from the Education Trust (Ed Trust). Although high-achieving black and Latino students take similar courses in high school as their white peers, they attend schools where instruction, school culture, support, and guidance “render [them] less competitive upon high school graduation,” the report notes.

“These are the students who arrive at high school most ready to take advantage of rigorous and high-level instruction,” said Marni Bromberg, research associate at Ed Trust and coauthor of the report. “But to reach the academic levels that they are capable of, they need exposure to challenging curriculum as well as support and guidance from their schools, including in selecting a college that can really challenge them.”

Read the rest of this article…

www.all4ed.orgStraight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress is a free biweekly newsletter that focuses on education news and events in Washington, DC and around the country. The format makes information on federal education policy accessible to everyone from elected officials and policymakers to parents and community leaders. Contributors include Jason Amos, editor; Cyndi Waite; and Kate Bradley.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal education policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit Follow the Alliance on Twitter, Facebook, and the Alliance’s “High School Soup” blog.

To receive Straight A’s by email please sign up for our mailing list.

Alliance for Excellent Education
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Washington, DC 20036

[DEANZ] Special Media Release: New Zealand’s eLearning Guidelines Revamp Offers Prompts For Practice In Support Of Online Teaching And Learning

One for my Kiwi readers….

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Evening DEANZ members,

We have received an exciting media release regarding the eLearning guidelines.

Please see the attached document for more details

Copyright © 2014 DEANZ (, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as you are a member of DEANZ. To unsubscribe please use the unsubscribe link below.
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Play Ball With QM!/Always Improving with QM K-12/Subscriber Spotlight/6th Annual Conference Update/Welcome New QMers!

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

Hi, just a reminder that you’re receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in Quality Matters. Don’t forget to add to your address book so we’ll be sure to land in your inbox!

  QM K12 Program logo
In This Issue
Play Ball with QM!
Continuous Improvement with QM K-12
Subscriber Spotlight: Mid-Ohio ESC
6th Annual Conference Call for Proposals OPEN Until April 16
Welcome to QM’s K-12 Program!
Announcing Changes to the K-12 Publisher Rubric
The K-12 Publisher Rubric has been revised to ensure consistency with previous K-12 Secondary Rubric revisions. K-12 Publisher Reviews’ scoring has changed with the implementation of essential standards. In addition to needing a total review score of 85% or better, all alignment standards and standard 2.3 must be met for a Publisher course to meet standards. 
We’re Hiring!
Interested in becoming the public face of QM? Are you a tech-savvy innovator looking for a new challenge with an award-winning international organization? Check out our open positions
Elementary Educators: We Need YOU!
Plans for developing QM’s K-12 Elementary Rubric are underway! We’re looking for Elementary Educators with online and/or blended learning experience to serve on this committee. It’s an exciting opportunity to help mold and develop the next addition to the QM family of Rubrics! In addition, your involvement will be recognized in our K-12 Elementary Rubric publications. Interested? Contact K-12 Program Director Christine Voelker.


Spring 2014 Workshop Dates


Learn More
K12 Rubric Workbook Cover
Connect with QM

Play Ball with QM!



Even if you missed Opening Day, you can still play ball with QM! If you’ve been considering a QM subscription now’s a great time to do it. Subscribe before the end of the fiscal year, June 30, and your school or district’s benefits will include access to our Course Review Management System (a web-based tool where you can conduct collaborative internal course reviews). 

Check out our lineup of professional development offeringswhich includes new hitters like “Flipping Your Class and More: Exploring Blended Learning”; “K-12 Online Course Design”; and, “K-12 Introduction to Teaching Online”. You can get needed professional development AND get your classes ready for next fall – sounds like a home run!

Swing for the fences with an engaged international community of subscribers. Membership means influence, a voice in the future of K-12 education and the Quality Matters Program. The expertise of educators and professionals like you has helped QM grow into an award-winning organization recognized for its peer-based approach to quality in education. Join us as a subscriber before June 30 and reap the benefits of membership in the QM community.

Always Improving with QM K-12 

  QM Peer Review Process  

We’re constantly looking to improve the quality of our products and services while working to provide members of the QM community with the best possible experiences. As this fiscal year draws to a close, we’re excited to present new offerings and ideas to our subscribers. Stay tuned for more information on changes to workshops, reviews and more!

Subscriber Spotlight: Mid-Ohio Education Service Center 

Mid Ohio ESC logo

The Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center (Mid-Ohio ESC) provides specialized academic and support services to 16 school districts in Ohio – including access to professionals and services – that might otherwise be unaffordable by sharing these services among the districts.

In 2013, Mid-Ohio ESC, in collaboration with Knox County ESC and Tri-County ESC, received one of ten “Quality Matters” grants distributed by eTech Ohio. Six teachers from these ESCs were provided with professional development opportunities that would ultimately result in their certification as K-12 Online Facilitators, enabling them to provide their own sessions of Quality Matters’ (QM) flagship course, K-12 Applying the QM Secondary Rubric (K-12 APP), to the school districts in which they serve.

Luke Burton, a Technology Integration Specialist at Mid-Ohio ESC, has taken four different QM-led professional development courses. Luke and his colleagues at Mid-Ohio ESC are working with many districts throughout the state, offering them professional development in a “train-the-trainer” model. In addition to the K-12 APP, they offer courses in Moodle training and assessment literacy.

Read the Mid-Ohio ESC case study.  

Call for Proposals for QM’s 6th Annual Conference OPEN Until April 16

   2014 Annual Conference Banner

We’re now accepting proposals* for the 6th Annual QM Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning: Charting the Course. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 16, 2014.

Stay tuned for more information on the 6th Annual Conference!

*Organizations not affiliated with an education institution interested in submitting proposals should contact QM’s Events and Conferences Manager .

Welcome to the K-12 Program!



We’d like to offer a hearty HELLO! and WELCOME! to the newest member(s) of QM’s K-12 community:

We’re happy to have you aboard! Thank you for joining the QM community.
Questions? E-mail us.
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