Personalized Learning

Districts should use budget woes to innovate

The National Journal asked about public-private partnerships backfilling budget cuts.  Here’s my response. Public-private partnerships are a good idea; there should be more.  But I hope the private partners supplanting public funds are in for the long run–I think schools in many states have a couple more years…

Personalized Learning

6 reasons foundations should incorporate venture strategies

Foundations should invest at least a portion of their endowments in return seeking vehicles related to their programmatic goals (often called Mission Related Investments, MRI).  They should also leverage their balance sheets to provide venture debt and credit enhancements (often structured as Program Related Investments, PRI) to help scale promising…

Personalized Learning

It’s the learning, stupid

This week I had the good fortune to meet Jamie P. Merisotis, President, Lumina Foundation for Education.  As one of the few higher ed funders, he’s pushing an exciting agenda with a big goal: Over the next 16 years, Lumina wants to increase the percentage of Americans with college…

Personalized Learning

So far to go on the new edu-employment bargain

DC Chancellor Rhee is still getting beat up for a 5% layoff that partially considered performance.  As she explained in a thoughtful note to staff: When we learned of the shortfall and realized that some school positions would be cut, according to DC law for a reduction…

Leadership

Ted Sizer asked us all the think

Ted Sizer asked us to think deeply about accepted norms in American Education.  His books and a series of school visits starting in 1999 shaped my views about secondary school reform. The NYTimes summarized his seminal contribution: The Essential Schools movement sprang from Professor Sizer’s seminal book…

Personalized Learning

The Quiet Revolution

The success of Obama’s first term education agenda will be sealed with the announcement of phase 1 Race to the Top winners in March.  All indications are that the Obama administration will hold firm on its landscape changing competitive grant program.  Only a handful of states will receive grants in…

Personalized Learning

Travel questions

A few travel questions from this week’s excursions: why is the print on hotel shampoo bottles so small? (ever put lotion on your head?) why do middle seaters think they get the armrest? why are NYC taxis the only ones that take credit cards? how did we navigate before Google…

Personalized Learning

Advocating for online options

We’re building a advocacy initiative for online and blended learning.  some of the goals include paint pictures of the future of learning promote quality options for kids/families guide state and local policy development encourage investment in innovation Tell me if I missed something obvious and if there are groups that…

Personalized Learning

SES helps kids trapped in failing schools, not school fix

The MN Daily Planet makes a careening series of attacks on Supplemental Educational Services (SES).  The primary criticism is that tutoring some of the low income students didn’t fix the schools.  SES was not designed primarily as a school improvement strategy; it is an effort to quickly and directly counter…

Personalized Learning

Frequent conversation as teacher evaluation

The National Journal launched a discussion of teacher evaluation today.  Here’s my take. We need to improve observation and value-added data to dramatically improve teacher evaluation.  The best observation system I’ve seen is KC KS where teaching is a public act and where teachers receive frequent feedback on…