Category

Innovation

concept-of-choice-with-crossroads-spliting-in-two-ways-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Concept of choice with crossroads spliting in two ways
Licensed from Adobe Stock

New Education Resource for Mississippi Parents

Empower Mississippi, a nonprofit educational advocacy group, along with other in-state partners, has created a helpful new tool called the Mississippi School Finder. The website “offers users a complete picture of public, private, and alternative education options available in their communities.” This is a great idea and a great resource for parents! Families will now be able to find the right fit for their children with ease. Whether your family favors traditional public schooling, schools focusing on certain disciplines, magnet schools, charter schools, private schools, home schooling, or virtual schooling, this is the place to go. The website also navigates scholarship programs for students preferring a private school setting. Hats off to Empower Mississippi!  This is a win for Mississippi Read More ›

Tacks On Calendar

Consider Year Round School

The Coronavirus has upended nearly every aspect of our lives—forcing thousands of businesses to close (many permanently), shuttered most schools until next fall, and skyrocketed unemployment. Add to this the social and emotional cost. I can only wonder how the children and families who were already experiencing hard times are now handling this. While this crisis presents a near-term national challenge unlike any other, we need to also think about the future beyond the virus. This leads to an educational concept we should consider: year-round school. While current educational schedules may meet the needs of some, it’s clear that some children need to more hours per day and more days per year in class in order to achieve even today’s Read More ›

Diamanten im Brillantschliff vor schwarzem Hintergrund mit Reflextionen
Diamanten im Brillantschliff vor schwarzem Hintergrund mit Reflextionen
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Gem Prep Charter Schools Shine in Idaho

Amidst the educational difficulties the coronavirus has spurred, one Idaho charter network has thrived. Gem Prep, a K-12 free public charter school with four on-campus locations and an online school in Idaho, is using the opportunity to adapt and fine-tune their educational model.  Gem Prep schools have only one high school at this point—the online school. The physical schools are K–8. However, Gem is planning to add a new grade each year moving forward to make all of them K–12. With the arrival of Coronavirus, Gem was prepared to shift to full-time online.  Gem’s approach is to provide educators the specific training they need to teach effectively online. Laurie Wolfe, the network’s Chief Academic Officer, comments that “we [have] trained Read More ›

Group of paper plane in one direction and with one individual pointing in the different way. Business concept for new ideas creativity and innovative solution.
Group of paper plane in one direction and with one individual pointing in the different way. Business concept for new ideas creativity and innovative solution.
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Is Reform Achievable?

Dale Chu, senior visiting fellow of the Fordham Institute (an education reform think tank) writes, “the dour forecast [on big education reform ideas] is good reason for reformers to fight even harder in the 2020s and to search for a new path forward.” Given Chu’s conclusion, new transformative measures are required to propel our educational system to new heights. Simply put, what we are doing is not working. That is not to say that some pieces of reform haven’t been successful, such as the charter school movement and the accessibility of more choice in education. However, continuing down the path we are on will provide us another dreary decade. What America needs is one state to step up and lead Read More ›

follow the leader
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We Will Tell You How to be Innovative

A recent EducationWeek article, provocatively titled “These Shop Teachers Told Their Students to Form a Union,” focuses on Aviation High School in Long Island, New York, where students were encouraged to create a classroom much like the workplace of a union. Teachers José Vaz and Antonio Pepenella mention that students have more control over their education. This includes students electing officers (including foremen and a union representative) who are in charge of enforcing the class contract and ensuring student rights are protected and mediating conflicts between their classmates. Although a novel concept, which allows children out of their seats and away from the Pythagorean theorem, the approach is actually anti-innovation in that it builds a follow-the-leader mentality. At the core Read More ›

The idiom or the figure of speech “look for a needle in a haystack” is used to describe something elusive in a large space or a sisyphean task. Magnifying glass on the needle is isolated on white
The idiom or the figure of speech “look for a needle in a haystack” is used to describe something elusive in a large space or a sisyphean task. Magnifying glass on the needle is isolated on white
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Needle in a Haystack: School Innovation

According to Chelsea White of the Christensen Institute, there’s a dearth of information about innovation in schools across the country. In short, the “innovations schools are pursuing never makes it beyond the district office—and when it does, it’s not reliably or consistently documented, shared, or promoted.” In a project they call the Canopy, the institute is doing something about that. As stated in A VIEW FROM THE CANOPY: Building Collective Knowledge on School Innovation, “The Canopy is a collaborative effort to surface a more diverse set of innovative schools, and develop an index of approaches linked to student-centered learning.”  Encouragingly, they found that traditional public schools which represents 67% of their dataset are “work[ing] towards student-centered learning regardless of governance Read More ›

Flipped Classroom Concept
Flipped Classroom Concept On Blackboard With Apple And Digital Tablet On Wooden Table
Licensed From Adobe Stock

Flipped Classrooms Are Not the Problem

EducationWeek recently opined that “flipped classrooms may exacerbate student achievement gaps.”  The notion of a “flipped” classroom is one in which the “traditional rhythm of class time” is flipped by “introducing teacher lectures online so that students can view them at home, while using class time for projects and group activities that might traditionally be consigned to homework.” Here’s where they missed the mark: A flipped classroom does not give the student any more required time to fully grasp the material at hand. So the notion that flipped classrooms may exacerbate the student achievement gaps isn’t the issue. The crux of the matter is how long these students have access to learning. In order for educators to meet the needs Read More ›