Category: Education

By Michael Horn In Larry Cuban’s recent piece in the Washington Post, “Why K-12 online learning isn’t really revolutionizing teaching,” he in essence says that our research showing that online learning is a disruptive innovation that has the potential to transform K–12 education into a student-centric learning design that can allow each student to realize his or her fullest potential is unfortunate hype from academic gurus. What’s unfortunate is Cuban’s misrepresentation of our research to hype his argument. Cuban refers to our prediction that by 2019 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online in some form or fashion. He says that the prediction is erroneous because of the different forms in which online… View Article

Education Reform: Chalk It Up to Technology

By Benita M. Dodd It’s big. In fact, “massive” is a more apt description of the change overtaking education in Georgia. Some are hanging for dear life onto the “old school” ways, but technology is dragging them, kicking and screaming, into approaches that will forever disrupt the class. In just the month of May, even as schools closed for the summer break, three “massive” announcements shook the education establishment:  Georgia Tech, one of the nation’s top research universities, announced that in the next semester its College of Computing will offer the first online Master of Science degree in computer science that can be earned completely through the “Massive Open Online Course,” or MOOC, model. The degree’s cost is expected… View Article
(Editor’s Note:  Michael Horn will speak to the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, June 6.  Click here to learn more and register.) By Clayton Christensen, Heather Staker and Michael Horn The Clayton Christensen Institute, formerly Innosight Institute, has published three papers describing the rise of K−12 blended learning—that is, formal education programs that combine online learning and brick-and-mortar schools. This fourth paper is the first to analyze blended learning through the lens of disruptive innovation theory to help people anticipate and plan for the likely effects of blended learning on the classrooms of today and schools of tomorrow. The paper includes the following sections: Introduction to sustaining and disruptive innovation There are two basic types of innovation—sustaining and disruptive—that follow… View Article
By Mike Klein Youngsters are curious creatures.  They will engage in new styles of learning with excitement.  Technology enabled classrooms to create a seismic shift in the teacher-pupil relationship.  Smart boards replace dumb black boards.  Tablets replace books.  Students stacked in rows learning the same lesson has begun to shift toward pupils on personalized learning tracks with teacher participation rather than teacher domination.  Therein is the big challenge; how do you get the adults on board? “At the teacher level, it is a huge paradigm shift,” says Matchbook Learning founder and CEO Sajan George, who developed his model after spending years designing corporate – style turnarounds of big city schools that have the worst academic performance records.  George discussed the… View Article
(Editor’s Note: Matchbook Learning founder Sajan George discusses proven ideas to upgrade learning at the Foundation’s May 23rd Leadership Breakfast.  Click here for details.) By Mike Klein Imagine this scenario:  An automaker prepares to launch a new car amid much fanfare.  The car launches to modest immediate success and then it flops.  This is a real story.  The Ford Edsel was an epic failure because Ford was wearing blinders in its commitment to the Edsel.  Had the company listened to consumers it would have known that auto owner tastes were changing and the Edsel was no longer what people wanted.  Edsel was the wrong car at the wrong time. It’s all about data.  Business has known for generations that the… View Article
Louisiana Court Rejects Funding Formula; Texas Lawmakers Reject Choice By Mike Klein This week’s Louisiana Supreme Court opinion that struck down a school choice funding formula finds the usual suspects who want to prevent families from using their tax-paid dollars to send their children to the schools of their choice.  As we saw in Georgia, people who stand in opposition to expanded school choice believe the money belongs to them, which is a big brother knows best mentality. Some Louisiana background:  The state was in education chaos before Hurricane Katrina swept through eight years ago.  The unanticipated blessing from that life changing hurricane was that it gave the state, communities and families an opportunity to rebuild horrible school systems, notably… View Article
by Kelly McCutchen A new report from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice, summarizes the academic evidence on the impact of school choice programs such as vouchers, tax credit scholarships and education savings accounts. The studies analyzed: Academic outcomes of choice participants Academic outcomes of public schools Fiscal impact on taxpayers Racial segregation in school Civic values and practice The results? Academic outcomes of choice participants  Twelve empirical studies have examined academic  outcomes for school choice participants using  random assignment, the “gold standard” of social  science. Of these, 11 find that choice improves  student outcomes—six that all students benefit and five that some benefit and some are not affected. One… View Article
By Eric Wearne The United States government – our federal government – has taken what some might consider an alarming position in the question of whether families that prefer homeschooling can seek asylum here when teaching children at home is considered a crime in their own countries, punishable with prison terms and even having children removed from parental custody. The U.S. position is pretty straight and forward, as it is being argued in a Tennessee case that involves parents from Germany who came here in 2008.  The U.S. Department of Justice in federal court documents has argued that home schooling is not grounds for seeking asylum.   The case has not finally been decided but Uwe and Hannelore Romeike could lose… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia lawmakers filed about five dozen public education bills in this year’s General Assembly, bills that address funding formulas, enhancements to parental school choice, tax credits, ideas to preserve HOPE financial aid, additional days for pre-K education programs and many more. Here is something lawmakers might want to think about:  Why was the employment growth rate for Georgia public school administrators and non-teaching staff nearly double the percentage growth rate in total student population between 1992 and 2009, at enormous real cost?  Also, why does Georgia employ more administrators and non-teaching staff than teachers? This data is found in “The School Staffing Surge,” a new report from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.  Georgia is named among… View Article

A Model for Using Hybrid Approach in the Classroom

By Eric Wearne 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 are doing math problems online; and… View Article

To have an organization dedicated to the study of the problems that face Georgia in a bipartisan way….is absolutely one of the finest things that’s happened to our state.

The late W. H. Flowers, Jr., Chairman, Flowers industries, Inc. more quotes