Category: Education

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

Is Technology Ready for Blended Learning?

By Michael Horn Michael Horn, Education Editor, Innosight Institute “The technology is five years behind where it needs to be.” It was the complaint of yet another school trying to build a blended-learning model that utilizes multiple providers. “The software content providers are proprietary. It’s impossible to get data out of them. And when we do, the data doesn’t connect easily to the standards and the data from other providers.” So went the grumbling from another blended-learning school. What strikes me as most noteworthy about these comments, however, is just how un-noteworthy this state of the industry is in any industry. At the outset of any industry, the technology tends to be immature and not yet good enough for the… View Article

African-American Voters Inspired by School Choice

By Douglas A. Blackmon One of the most striking results of the vote on Amendment 1, which was approved by Georgia voters on Tuesday and creates an independent commission to authorize public charter schools in the state, is the absolutely extraordinary level of support received from African-American voters.  Douglas A. Blackmon Of the 20 Georgia counties where African-Americans make up half or more of the population, the amendment was approved by 61 percent of all voters and in 14 of those 20 counties. In two of the other six counties, the amendment still got 49 percent of the vote; in the other four, support ranged from 42-44 percent. In the 13 counties where more than half of Georgia’s 3 million… View Article
By Michael Horn What’s digital learning got to do with physical activity?  Quite a lot I believe. Michael Horn, Co-founder and Education Policy Director, Innosight Institute A couple weekends ago I had the privilege of presenting at TEDx Manhattan Beach where I heard another presenter, Dr. John Ratey, speak about the importance of physical exercise in increasing brain plasticity and boosting student learning. His book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, details the connection. Although I normally write about digital learning’s potential to transform our education, as a Crossfit enthusiast myself, I believe in the importance of living a healthy life with physical exercise. One of the biggest misconceptions about the rise of online… View Article

Will the American Dream become the American Memory?

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation When he spoke recently in Atlanta former New York City Public Schools chancellor Joel Klein suggested, “The question we are discussing right now is whether the American Dream becomes the American Memory on our watch.  That’s how serious I think this discussion is because the world is changing dramatically and our education system is not changing at all.” Georgia changed just a little bit this week when voters approved a path to state authorization for proposed charter schools that were turned down by local school boards.  Washington state voters voted on charters, Indiana voters rejected their reformist state superintendent in favor of a union-backed candidate, unions were successfully able to… View Article

Charter Opponents Overplayed a Bad Hand and Lost Big

By Mike Klein Truthfully, the public charter schools constitutional amendment that Georgia voters approved Tuesday was a modest proposal that sends a message voters in the state will insist on public schools innovation, even small innovation which is where the state is with charter schools. Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The big stuff like linking teacher salaries to student academic performance and eliminating teacher tenure was voted on in other states.  We are not ready for those votes in Georgia. Perception is a significant percentage of reality.  Imagine the national perception that would have been created if Georgia became the first state to vote against a constitutional amendment that sought to expand public charter school options for parents.… View Article
A comprehensive mathematical analysis of Georgia public school funding models has found local school systems that enroll nearly nine-out-of-ten public school students would experience increased resources when a student transfers to a new or existing state charter school.  This model is based on funding levels approved in 2012 by the Georgia General Assembly. Christine P. Ries, Professor of Economics, Georgia Tech Analyzing revenue and expenditures, Georgia Tech professor of economics Christine P. Ries based her calculations on the funding formula that would be used if voters approve Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 on Tuesday, November 6.  Ries concluded that most of Georgia’s 180 local school systems enrolling 89 percent of all students statewide would gain rather than lose funds when students… View Article

Think Hard About Education We Often Take For Granted

By Deloyce Dhoruba After my husband and I completed military service, we moved our family to Georgia from Fort Richardson, Alaska.  As service members we have seen public school systems all over the U.S. and in other countries as well. I grew up in Chicago and my husband in New Jersey and coming to Georgia, we were very disturbed about what we saw when it came to education. Deloyce Dhoruba, Technology Sector Program Manager and Parent Committed to Quality Public Education My husband and I are middle class.  We both work, we spend time in our children’s classrooms, and we always took the time to volunteer at their schools.  We have had two children in local public schools. Our 10-year-old… View Article

…One of the best things about the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is that it has such a broad membership base.

Dr. Wendy L. Gramm, Former Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more quotes