Virtual School Meanderings

June 22, 2017

USDLA Newsletter 2017 (06-19-2017)

A newsletter from earlier in the week.

You Newsletter
Dr. Farhad Saba
Founder, Editor
USDLA Hall of Fame Inductee Newsletter
Dr. John G. Flores, USDLA
CEO / Executive Director
Associate Editor
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Promises and pitfalls of online education Online courses have expanded rapidly and have the potential to extend further the educational opportunities of many students, particularly those least well-served by traditional educational institutions. However, in their current design, online courses are difficult, especially for the students who are least prepared. These students learning and persistence outcomes […]

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Tracking the Money for Open Educational Resources in South African basic Education: What We Don’t KnowLimited research has been done to date on the extent of public funding of Open Educational Resources (OER) within basic education (K-12 equivalent) in South Africa. As claims have been made about the potential cost reductions that come with using OER, this study aimed to establish a benchmark of public spending on educational resources, uncover […]

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Incentivizing the Production and Use of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education InstitutionsSubstituting open educational resources (OER) for commercially-produced textbooks results in demonstrable cost savings for students in most higher education institutions. Yet OER are still not widely used, and progress toward large-scale adoption in most colleges and universities has been slow. This article reviews the literature informing financial and other issues that affect OER adoption. It […]

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Designing quality into direct-assessment competency-based educationBackground Meeting the nation’s need for 60% of its working age population to hold postsecondary education by 2025 is not possible through traditional educational institutions and formats. They simply do not have the “seats” available. Students, employers, and regulatory agencies are actively exploring educational alternatives, such as competency-based education, rightfully expecting assurances of quality. Methods […]

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Implications for educator preparation programs considering competency-based educationThe competency-based educational (CBE) model has been implemented in numerous colleges and universities across the United States since its inception. While some of these institutions have elected to adopt CBE within a limited number of academic departments or programs, others have chosen to build their entire curriculum in such a way that requires all students […]

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Optical Communication at Record-High SpeedSoliton frequency combs generated in optical microresonators allow to transmit data at rates of more than 50 terabits per second publication in Nature Science and Technology Research News

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Blackboard Achieves AWS Education Competency StatusWASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Blackboard Inc., a leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement, today announced that it has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Education Competency status. This designation recognizes that Blackboard has demonstrated technical proficiency and success building cloud-hosted educational solutions for clients. Blackboard

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Facebook, an Online Learning Platform?New Facebook features intended for developers could, if expanded, turn the social networking site into an online learning platform. Inside Higher Ed

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Two Reports Promoting School Choice As A Means To Economically Develop Low-Income Neighborhoods Offer Little Guidance For Policymakers Or Practitioners, Review Finds

A report from the inbox on Monday.

June 20, 2017

Jennifer Jellison Holme, (512) 475-9398,
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940,

Two reports promoting school choice as a means to economically develop low-income neighborhoods offer little guidance for policymakers or practitioners, review finds

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Jun. 20, 2017) — Earlier this year two organizations, EdChoice and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), released reports suggesting that expanded school choice would promote economic development in economically distressed urban areas. The EdChoice report was a case study on the relocation decisions of families in an urban charter school, while the AEI report calls for a voucher-like program to spur economic development by luring higher income families into neighborhoods. An academic review of the reports finds that both reports make unsupported claims that rely on flawed logic and data.

The reports, Renewing our Cities: A Case Study on School Choice’s Role in Urban Renewal and CPR Scholarships: Using Private School Choice to Attack Concentrated Poverty, Crime, and Unemployment, were reviewed by Jennifer Jellison Holme and Emily Germain, University of Texas Austin, for the Think Twice think tank review project. Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), is funded by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

While the EdChoice report is an empirical paper, the reviewers find that the report fails to collect and analyze data related to the report’s causal assertion that economic development resulted from the establishment of a charter school. Meanwhile, Holme and Germain find that the AEI report’s claims are unsupported by existing research. That report only consists of a hypothetical proposal for a voucher program aimed at promoting economic development in high-poverty neighborhoods.

The reviewers also note that both reports use selective research evidence and overlook other studies that contradict their claims.

In their conclusion, Holme and Germain say: “the reports offer little guidance for policymakers seeking to reform urban schools, to support low-income students, or to uplift urban neighborhoods.”

Find the review on the GLC website:

Find the EdChoice report at:

Find the AEI report at:

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The review can also be found on the NEPC website:

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

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21 June 2017: Google Alert – LRN

The corporate alert for K12, Inc. from yesterday.


As-it-happens update ⋅ June 21, 2017
Lucus Advisors LLC Acquires New Position in K12 Inc (LRN)

K12 logo Lucus Advisors LLC purchased a new position in K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the …
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As-it-happens update ⋅ June 21, 2017
Palisade Capital Management Has Upped Its K12 (LRN) Stake; Perceptive Advisors Has Cut Its …

Palisade Capital Management Llc increased K12 Inc (LRN) stake by 5.17% reported in 2016Q4 SEC filing. Palisade Capital Management Llc …
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K12 Inc (LRN) Shares Sold by Spark Investment Management LLC

K12 logo Spark Investment Management LLC cut its stake in shares of K12 Inc (NYSE:LRN) by 54.3% during the first quarter, according to its most …
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MarketBeat Daily: Headlines and Analysts’ Updates for 6/21/2017

The MarketBeat update for K12, Inc. from yesterday. Daily Update: Analysts' Upgrades, Downgrades & New Coverage Twitter  Facebook  StockTwits
June 21, 2017
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June 21, 2017

Reminder: iNACOL Symposium 2017 | End-of-Fiscal-Year Early-Bird Savings – Register Today

And from the neo-liberals.

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iNACOL Symposium 2017 - Transforming Systems + Changing Lives - October 15-18, 2017 Charlotte, North Carolina

Dear Colleagues,

Register to attend the iNACOL Symposium 2017 today. Early-bird registration discounts endJuly 13, 2017.

Take advantage of early-bird registration discounts (before the end of this year’s fiscal year) to attend the iNACOL Symposium on October 23-25, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Attendee registration is now open and early-bird registration discounts are available until July 13, 2017.

Don’t miss out on early-bird pricing discounts. Register to attend the iNACOL Symposium today.

Share with your colleagues and networks on Twitter:

  • Register for iNACOL 2017 event w/early-bird pricing for #inacol17 thru 7/13. Exploring #CBE, #PL, #online and #blended learning: @nacol
  • Early discount to register #inacol17 in FL. Theme: “Personalizing Learning: #Equity, Access, Quality” @nacol

For more information about the iNACOL Symposium, see:

Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando.

About the iNACOL Symposium

The iNACOL Symposium is the premier learning conference for those advancing powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences and shaping the future of K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. On October 23-25, 2017, iNACOL’s annual conference will bring together more than 3,000 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of powerful, personalized learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world, including leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field. Attendees will find invaluable networking opportunities; access to expertise, analysis, the latest trends and research; and thought-provoking interactive sessions for leaders shaping the future of education. The Symposium includes hundreds of engaging interactive sessions, with tags to guide attendees toward highly relevant professional learning opportunities. Learn more on the iNACOL Symposium website.

About iNACOL 

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using competency-based, blended and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of school and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.

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