• 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 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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