March 11, 2013
The News Journal
Delaware’s education policies honored with national award
Delaware has won a national award for its education policies from the Education Commission of the States. The 2013 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation goes to “states and territories for enacting innovative education reforms or implementing innovative programs that go beyond marginal or incremental changes to improve student outcomes on a large scale.”
New curriculum structure helps William Penn students succeed
The pursuit of education at William Penn High School is anything but old school. One part college prep, one part vocational, the new curriculum at what historically has been an academically challenged school embraces both scholarly excellence and partnerships with community businesses. The goal is to engage students by equipping them to succeed in a challenging, competitive world. One year after restructuring, William Penn’s enrollment is up by 200 students, an increase of more than 10 percent. That’s due, in part, to an aggressive campaign to sell parents on the new curriculum concept. Colonial used money from the Race to the Top federal education grant to organize 11 meetings in every middle school in the district to outline the plan.
Chronicle of Higher Education
At South by Southwest Education Event, tensions divide entrepreneurs and educators
Who should lead innovation in education—teachers or entrepreneurs? That key question was in the air at this year’s South by Southwest Edu conference. In a keynote address, Bill Gates made the case for why more venture capitalists and businesses should invest in building education products and services to kick-start new ways of teaching with technology.
Diane Ravitch launches new education advocacy counterforce
Education historian Diane Ravitch is launching a new advocacy organization that will support political candidates who oppose high-stakes testing, mass school closures, and what her group calls the “privatizing” of public schools. The new Network for Public Education is meant to counter organizations that promote other state-level education reforms.
Graduation rates for individual high schools unveiled
The Department of Education posted online data on the graduation-rate performance of individual schools. The new data follow state-level graduation rates for 2010-11 that the department previously released. Both sets are based on states’ use of a common measure for graduation rates, making it easier to compare student success across states and schools.
The New York Times
Creative learning pays off for web start-ups
Anyone who wants to learn calculus, statistics or ancient Greek history can take free online courses in those subjects at a variety of sites from instructors with distinguished academic pedigrees. For more mundane pursuits, like learning how to paddleboard or build a planter box for the garden, there is an inexhaustible supply of free how-to videos on YouTube, eHow and other sites. But if you’d like to watch a recording of a three-day course on the minutiae of photographing clients who commission high-end portraits of themselves in lingerie, that will cost $149 on a Web site called CreativeLive.
Self-directed learning project gives students full control
Monument Mountain Regional High School in Massachusetts is running an audacious experiment. Called the “Independent Project,” it allows students complete control over how and what they learn. The project functions like a school-within-a-school with traditional fixtures of academia dotting the landscape, yet with students who find themselves in IP answering to no one. There are no principals, teachers or oversight. There are no curricula either – except those the students write themselves.