September 20, 2012
Chronicle of Higher Education
Coursera announces big expansion, adding 17 universities
Coursera, an upstart provider of free online courses, announced 17 new college partners, nearly doubling the number that have agreed to use the company’s platform to offer MOOC’s, or massive open online courses. The new partners include flagships, liberal-arts colleges, specialized institutions, and foreign institutions. So far, more than 1.3 million students have signed up for at least one course.
New studies dissect school turnarounds
What makes one low-performing school turn around and build momentum over time, while another, seemingly similar school tries the same strategies but continues to struggle? It’s not just particular programs or practices, but the interplay of implementation with district policies and support, according to the most comprehensive federal research on such schools to date.
Research alliances link scholars and educators
Long-term partnerships, rather than one-off studies, may become the new norm for researchers looking for access and districts looking for answers. A forthcoming study commissioned by the William T. Grant Foundation, of New York City, finds more districts are developing long-term, structured relationships with researchers. It says the trend is driven by tight local budgets and an increased federal focus on making education research usable.
Raises, contract length were key to turning strike around
District officials didn’t think much changed in the contract during the strike, saying most of the heavy lifting had happened the week before teachers walked off the job. But their union counterparts said they didn’t make enough gains until they struck. The union won the right to appeal evaluations, to write their own lesson plans and to form a committee to ease workloads for clinicians
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