• Provost Academy launched a virtual high school in CO; Provost is an early example of 2nd gen content developed as learning objects
  • A couple start-ups working around the big guys and developing high school elective content
  • More evidence that charters work as outlined by James Merriman
  • TX drops out of the Race; too bad, Commissioner Scott would have put up a good plan

May become a development, let’s wait and see:


  • Heels digging in during the last two weeks before the Race to the Top deadline (eg, NY poison pill, AL charter law)
  • And hearings for the $350m assessment grant program; what the Department didn’t hear is that states have self-organized into 4 camps with CCSSO and Achieve in the middle:
    1. Formative as summative: can’t we just use teacher assessments like the do in Europe (NE)
    2. Adaptive: why not take advantage of computer based assessment (OR)
    3. Comprehensive: let’s add performance assessment to the mix (WV)
    4. Comparable & efficient: lock in Common Core gains with a full suite of common end of course exams (FL)


  • Importing school models and learning platforms from other countries.  I saw traffic on Swedish, Israel, and Chinese learning platforms this week.  If we don’t start investing in education innovation, we’ll soon have a trade deficit there as well.
  • Some good news on edu-trade balance; Noble offering American high school diploma in Korea

And, from the Undaunted Courage department

  • A Kauffman study indicates that the number of start ups appears unfazed by the recession
Tom - Speaking Engagements

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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