Virtual School Meanderings

February 16, 2016

iNACOL Is Delivery Boy For ALEC’S Model Legislation: What’s in YOUR state?

I wanted to start today with a couple of blog entries that have come to my attention recently that I wanted to start today with sharing…

iNACOL IS DELIVERY BOY FOR ALEC’S MODEL LEGISLATION: What’s in YOUR state?

It’s no secret that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has for one of its goals, the privatization (colonization) of public education. It’s no secret that their task force for education policy is routinely co-chaired by leaders from the education technology industry (i.e. Connections Academy). It’s no secret that the education technology industry anticipates the promise of billions of dollars of profits delivering “public education” services.

As Lee Fang says in The NationVenture capitalists and for-profit firms are salivating over the exploding $788.7 billion market in K-12 education.”  

Meet iNACOL … aka International Association for K12 Online Learning. It is the most influential education technology trade group today.  Their Board of Directors includes Mickey Revenaugh, Executive Vice President of Connections Academy.  She is also former Chair for the ALEC education task force. 

As Emily Talmage discovered, iNACOL is a “Trojan horse” for education reform (see minute 1:48).

iNACOL also appears to be the delivery boy (or Trojan horse) for ALEC. Just look at the two screen shots from this 2013 webinar they hosted on the future of technology in education policy entitled “Inacol-2013-02-13-federal-and-state-policy-what-is-needed-for-digital-learning”

inacol (2)inacol2 (2)

(click to enlarge)

Curiously, the title of the state bills in these screen shots, which iNACOL promotes as positive change, have titles identical to ALEC model legislation:

The ALEC  bill states: “The Course Choice Program created by this Act would allow students in public schools and public charter schools to enroll in online, blended, and face-to-face courses not offered by the student’s school, and would allow a portion of that student’s funding to flow to the course provider. This Act creates an authorization process for providers and identifies provider and course eligibility criteria.”

  • Look at that bill in Maine. Here’s what Emily Talmage has to say about the online education bills being pushed there: “In Maine, we are witnessing this very experiment take place in our schools in the form of proficiency-based learning. The Nellie Mae report writes, ‘Schools and districts are developing increasingly mature competency-based pathways and approaches that others can study and potentially replicate.’ States that have not adopted proficiency-based learning will look in the future to data gathered from students and schools in Maine when deciding whether or not to adopt similar legislation to LD 1422.“

And how about the Governor’s Digital Learning Task Force in Georgia? It too has an evil twin:

In 2010, the Foundation for Excellence in Education convened the Digital Learning Council, a diverse group of more than 100 leaders in education, government, philanthropy, business, technology and members of policy think tanks led by Co Chairmen Jeb Bu

sh, and Bob WiseThe 10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning were released at this 2010 National Summit on Education Reform. It’s an ALEC model-endorsed comprehensive framework of state-level policies and actions “designed to advance the meaningful and thoughtful integration of technology into K12 public education”

10 Elements draft by Jeb and Bob ALEC’s adopted model legislation
Customization and Success for All Students: All students should be able to access digital learning to customize their education to achieve academic success.Student Access: All students are digital learners. Barriers to Access: All students have access to high quality digital learning. Personalized Learning: All students can use digital learning to customize their education. Advancement: All students progress based on demonstrated competency.

• A Robust Offering of High Quality Options: To effectively customize education, students must be able to choose from an array of rigorous and effective schools and courses.

Quality Content: Digital content and courses are high quality.

Quality Instruction: Digital instruction is high quality.

Quality Choices: All students have access to multiple high quality digital learning providers.

 

Assessment and Accountability: Student learning is the metric for evaluating the quality of content, courses, schools and instruction.

• 21st Century Infrastructure: Education must be modernize to ensure students have access to sustained digital learning.

 

Funding: Funding provides incentives for performance, options and innovations.

 

Infrastructure: Infrastructure supports digital learning

 

WHEREAS, academic success in the 21st century, and therefore the future of our state’s economy, is contingent upon our students’ access to high-quality K-12 education; andWHEREAS, today’s students have access to the internet, technology and devices unavailable to previous generations; and

WHEREAS, excellent educational resources are becoming abundant in digital form, such as online and blended learning opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the primary barriers preventing our students from accessing these high-quality digital learning opportunities are outdated state statutes and policies; and

WHEREAS, this Legislature understands the urgent need for its leadership in removing the policy barriers standing between our children and the digital learning opportunities that can ensure their success, and our state’s, in this Information Age; and

WHEREAS, in August 2010, Governors Jeb Bush and Robert Wise launched the Digital Learning Council with leaders in education, government, philanthropy, business, technology and think tanks to define the actions that lawmakers and policymakers must take to spark a revolution in K-12 digital learning with their actions resulting in the creation of the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning; and

WHEREAS, it is the intent of this Resolution that the 10 Elements be used as a framework from which to draft legislation specific to each state’s needs and not a mandate on any one body;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that [State] adopts the Digital Learning Council’s 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning, as hereby presented. It is the will of the Legislature that the Elements be incorporated as necessary through future legislation as well as immediate state regulation, strategic planning, guidelines and/or procedures on the part of the [State Education Agency], local education agencies, and any other relevant public or private bodies.

Digital Learning Council’s 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning

1. Student eligibility: All students are digital learners.

2. Student access: All students have access to high-quality digital content and online courses.

3. Personalized learning: All students can customize their education using digital content through an approved digital learning provider.

4. Advancement: Students progress based on demonstrated competency.

5. Content: Digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality.

6. Instruction: Digital instruction and teachers are high quality.

7. Digital learning providers: All students have access to multiple high-quality digital learning providers.

8. Assessment and accountability: Student learning is one method of evaluating the quality of content and instruction.

9. Funding: Funding creates incentives for performance, options, and innovation.

10. Delivery: Infrastructure supports digital learning.

Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on September 16, 2011.

 

 

As for the “model” policies iNACOL is promoting from PA and MN? One only need to read the 2011 ALEC Annual Conference Substantive Agenda on Education which states:

“…the Task Force voted on several proposed bills and resolutions, with topics including: digital learning, the Common Core State Standards, charter schools, curriculum on free enterprise, taxpayers’ savings grants, amendments to the existing model legislation on higher education accountability, and a comprehensive bill that incorporates many components of the landmark school reforms Indiana passed this legislative session. Attendees will hear a presentation on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’initiative to grow great schools, as well as one on innovations in higher education.”

Look closely as the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) takes hold and changes begin to take place. The new ESSA favors alternative teacher preparation and creates new funding streams for online education platforms and charter schools.

So…what’s in YOUR state?

Visit more about the ALEC Education Task Force here.

February 13, 2016

[New Post] Is It Impossible to Personally Connect with Online Students?

And from the corporate K12, Inc. folks…

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READ HOW TO CONNECT WITH ONLINE STUDENTS

Making Personal Connections through Online Learning
2.9.2016, Contributor: Kristen Trostel

My favorite part about teaching, both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar schools, is the students. They all have such unique stories, with different life experiences, and diverse perspectives on the world. Some people think that with a virtual education method, you cannot have relationships with your students like “traditional” teachers. Before I started teaching online, I probably would have agreed with them but after teaching online for over a year now, I am blown away with the connections that I am able to make every single day with my students.

My main form of communication with my students is through email. Surprisingly, I have found that students are often more willing to open up and share what is going on in their lives through email as opposed to in-person interaction. Through this type of communication, I have learned a great deal of information about my students, and have been able to make fantastic personal connections with them. online learning.JPG

READ MORE

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Take a look back at some of our
most recent posts!


Success with Online High School Courses: From Probation to Graduation for More Than 600 Students
2.4.2016

In its new series, “Research: Outcomes of Blended/Online Learning Programs,” the Evergreen Education Group takes an in-depth look at successful blended and online programs across the nation to examine the best practices that have created tangible results. We are pleased to share with you some highlights from the John Marshall Metropolitan High School study.

Blended Learning Success

After Chicago Public Schools (CPS) put John Marshall Metropolitan High School on academic probation in 2009, the Marshall staff knew that innovation was necessary to address their problems. The solution was created in 2011, using funds provided by United States Department of Education, when the Marshall staff designed and implemented the Pathway to Accelerated Student Success (PASS) program.

Since implementation in February 2011, more than 600 PASS program students have earned their high school diplomas and more than 2,000 credits have been recovered through online high school courses.

A PASS student said, “Now I actually love school. I want to further my education, even after high school. PASS helped me a lot.”

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Is Blended Learning the Same as Technology-Rich Instruction?
1.27.2016

There’s a lot of confusion around blended learning and technology-rich instruction. Many schools think that because they use computers in the classroom they are a blended school. Yet, “blended learning” and “technology-rich instruction” mean something quite different.

Technology-rich instruction provides educators with a valuable tool to reinforce lessons, but the technology in itself does not facilitate student learning.

Blended learning, on the other hand, leverages technology to give each and every student a more personalized learning experience. Blended learning has been defined as a “formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace, at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home, and the modalities along each student’s path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.”

Let’s take a look at how these two different instruction models work in a school setting.

CLICK TO CONTINUE

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January 31, 2016

Statistics for January 2016

This entry is being posted back-dated.

So I didn’t get around to posting this around the end of the month, which means I don’t have the ability to see the statistics from the past month (i.e., 30 days) from the WordPress site. I can say that there were 2861 hits to this blog from 1911 visitors.  This is down a little bit since December 2015, when there were 2,970 visits to this blog (but only 1,711 unique visitors – so that is up about 200 people).

Beyond that, I can’t get much in the way of data since I waited so long.

So that’s about all for this month, except the statistics from my old blog site.

(more…)

January 22, 2016

Enroll Now: Free Course On Blogging With Students!

This may be of interest to some of my readers…


THE LATEST FROM EDUBLOGS

Free Course On Blogging With Students: Enroll Now!

We’re excited to kickstart the next round of Edublogs Teacher Challenges! Come join us for our four-week crash course as we guide you through the process of blogging with students.

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An Evolving View: In Education, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

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The Current State of Educational Blogging

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Technology Skills Your Students Might Not Have

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Quotes from a Tech Conference (What I Heard)

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January 14, 2016

FLVS HOPE Course Video Tour

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

The Virtual Voice has posted a new item, ‘FLVS HOPE Course Video Tour’

Thinking about getting your Physical Education credits online at FLVS this
year?
Perhaps you have some questions…like how in the world does online P.E. even
work? It’s a great question – and we’ll be glad to answer it!

The answer is, in fact, pretty simple. With the FLVS HOPE course (short for
Health Opportunities through Physical Education), students get to enjoy all the
good stuff about health and P.E. on their own time and schedule.

HOPE is taught by certified instructors who help students work at their own pace
on the health and fitness goals that they choose. In the course, students learn
about flexibility, cardio, strength training, nutrition, wellness and more.

You may view the latest post at
http://blog.flvs.net/flvs-hope-course-video/

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