Category: Education

A Model for Using Hybrid Approach in the Classroom

By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation As the research continues to try to keep up with the practice on online and blended learning, it can be useful to look at what the marketplace of ideas is producing in the real world. Last week Education Sector profiled Alliance Tennenbaum Family Technology High School, a charter school in Los Angeles, and discussed the school’s use of technology to expand the reach of its teachers: “The school uses a hybrid model that combines online and traditional instruction and allows students to learn in three different ways. On this particular fall day, 16 students are getting traditional in-person instruction in Algebra I from teacher Wendy Chaves; roughly the same number… View Article
By Eric Wearne Eric WearneSenior FellowGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Colleges around the country, including Emory, are constantly experimenting with online learning.  New formats and offerings appear somewhere every semester.  Many colleges already partner with the private company Coursera to offer fully online courses (though not for normal credits). Last week San Jose State University reached an agreement with another private online learning company, Udacity, to offer Udacity courses, with the aid of live San Jose State classroom instructors, for San Jose State credit in some remedial and introductory courses.   While disruptive to the normal way of conducting classes, this arrangement might represent a compromise skeptics can accept.  All three of the groups involved in this deal stand to benefit… View Article
By Ben Scafidi National School Choice Week begins January 25, and thousands of parents, students and school choice advocates will hold rallies, show movies and documentaries and visit their state Capitols to promote effective education options for every child. In Georgia, the votes are in: This state wants greater school choice, and political partisanship will not get in the way. Voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment in November to allow charter schools to once again be a viable option for Georgia families.  Despite a massive misinformation campaign, in which taxpayer funds were (wrongly) used, almost 59 percent of Georgia voters in this high turnout election supported something different than their local school boards and central office bureaucracy.  Georgians of… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation What we know or can know about each other never ceases to amaze me and it constantly evolves.  Netflix knows the movies we like.  Amazon knows what we want to purchase.  Websites target us with messages based on how we use websites.  Even toddlers use the web for videos and games as they acquire skill sets that will be essential for learning and success. The all-knowing online digital world will re-imagine and liberate learning.  “Education used to be someplace you went to.  You used to go to school to learn,” says John Bailey, executive director of Digital Learning Now!  “Now all of a sudden learning can come to wherever… View Article
By Michael Horn Michael Horn, Co-Founder and Education Executive Director, Innosight Institute The potential of a competency-based (or mastery-based) education system powered by digital learning to customize for each individual student’s needs and bolster learning excites many. A question some ask though is: What about the unmotivated students? Won’t they be left behind? Furthermore, in light of the recent publicity around the research on the importance of grit — defined as “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them” — to life success, some further suggest that although competency-based learning and blended learning are nice, unless we solve the problem of instilling grit or perseverance in all students, isn’t it true that those next-generation learning things… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Pop Quiz:  Is there ever anything good about receiving a D+ grade? This week the public education watchdog StudentsFirst ranked Georgia 15th nationally in a report that analyzed state laws and policies rather than student performance.  The D+ grade assigned to Georgia considered improvements in public charter school laws and a new teacher evaluations format but the report card downgraded Georgia for weakness empowering parents with meaningful information and deficiencies in financial accountability policies. The overall message to Georgia is the state has plenty of room for improvement.  And, that is also true nationally. Grading states in a numerical range that produced an “A-to-F” format, no state received an “A”… View Article
(Georgia Public Policy Foundation Senior Fellow Eric Wearne attended the Foundation for Excellence in Education conference in Washington, D.C.  He wrote this article for The Forum.) Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation By Eric Wearne Who among us would send our child to a public school in the District of Columbia, chosen at random?  This question may be uncomfortable, but it is one that could be asked about many, many low-performing school systems across the country.  It is a question Joel Klein, former Chancellor of the New York City School system, posed at the recent Excellence in Action Summit. As noted earlier in another Forum article, the Excellence in Action summit included significant discussion about innovation in education,… View Article

Could Competency Based Learning Save Common Core?

By Michael Horn Michael Horn, Education Executive Director, Innosight Institute After spending a week in Washington, D.C., I was struck by how nervous folks in education circles are about whether states will stick with the Common Core state standards once the Common Core assessments arrive in the 2014-15 school year. The behind-the-scenes buzz on Common Core touched on everything from how different the assessments really will be from what some states have today to whether Common Core will doom testing and the accountability movement more generally because of the length of the assessments to whether governors will stick with Common Core once the first year of assessment results come out and people see how students perform poorly on them.… View Article
By Brad Alexander Brad Alexander In November, Georgians resoundingly approved a constitutional amendment allowing the state to authorize charter schools. Given that this was the most hard-fought constitutional campaign ever – or at least since the Lottery debate in the 1990s – it is not surprising that explanations for the outcome abound. This need to explain the result has been exacerbated by the reality that the strongest support came from Democratic voters. Yet the most accurate explanation is generally being ignored:  that informed voters made a decision that they believed was good for them. The first explanation being offered is that the proponents’ campaign team produced some uncommonly effective strategies that completely reversed the direction of the vote. The advertising… View Article

Who Will Help Smartest Kids Achieve the Next Level?

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Three kids go to school.  One way under achieves, one achieves okay but nothing spectacular and the third kid achieves off the chart, leaving the other two way behind.  So which kid do you suppose will get the most resources if the school system has to pick and choose its priorities? Georgia state representative Ed Seltzer found himself in the same ballroom with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan one morning last week at the Foundation for Excellence in Education annual conference.  Here is what Setzler asked when the microphone was passed his way: “I’ve heard folks say in different settings that high performing kids will take care of themselves (and)… View Article

As an employer, and a parent and a graduate of Georgia public schools, I am pleased that the Foundation has undertaken this project. (The report card) provides an excellent tool for parents and educators to objectively evaluate our public high schools. It will further serve a useful purpose as a benchmark for the future to measure our schools’ progress.

Dan Amos, CEO, AFLAC more quotes