"At the second annual Education Summit, The Atlantic will illuminate the most pressing debates in the education world today, from cradle to college," says the promo copy for Education Summit 2016. It start tomorrow morning and continues Wednesday, in DC. Topics under discussed are listed as ESSA, Common Core, School to Prison Pipeline, Speech on College Campuses, and College Affordability. Speakers and panelists include Jen Holleran, executive director of Startup:Education (part of the Chan Zuckerberg effort). The Atlantic's education editor, Alia Wong, will also participate. Hashtag? Livestream? LMK.
Signs abound that this era of polarization is giving way to a different and more constructive phase in U.S. efforts to boost student achievement.... The dawn of a new era of K-12 philanthropy .... Funders [like Walton and Broad] are no longer the dominant drivers.
Inside Philanthropy's David Callahn (The New Era of K-12 Philanthropy)
There are all sorts of conferences going on in May, including the upcoming May 10-11 New Schools Venture Fund Summit 2016 in San Francisco.
In case you haven't heard, NewSchools Summit is "an annual invitation-only gathering for education leaders who bring important and diverse perspectives in K-12 education innovation." And it's big -- 1,000 attendees. Lots of VIP speakers (see above).
NSVF was the first place I saw Google Glass (RIP), and I'm guessing that this year's event will be full of drone demos, holograms/VR, hoverboards, 3D printers, bots, and wearables. AltSchool's Max Ventilla will be a mini-celebrity. Newly-hired Chan Zuckerberg honcho Jim Shelton will be a full-on celebrity.
No surprise -- everyone's doing it -- one of the big pushes at NSVF this year is trying to create an authentic, diverse movement. LEE's organizing guru Mark Fraley, is going to be speaking, along with #BlackLivesMatter's Brittany Packnett and DREAMer José Patiño.
Sponsors of the $1,000 per ticket event include Carnegie Corporation, Walton, Startup:Education (aka Chan Zuckerberg), Gates, Peak , the College Board + Khan Academy, and the Schusterman Foundation.
Related posts: NewSchools 2015 Summit Live Twitter Feed; They're Beaming NSVF Summit 2014 To Boston; Google Glasses Live from NSVF Summit 2013; Thoughts On NSVF 2012; Rahm Emanuel And Arlene Laurene Powell Jobs At NSVF'12; Reformy 2011 Summit Returns To Silicon Valley; Fashion Hits & Misses At The 2010 NSVF Summit; Another Spring, Another Summit (2009); NSFV: Live Tweets From Pasadena '09; Microblogging The 2008 NSVF Summit.
I'm not there, but you may be -- the annual ASU-GSV confab is happening this week.
From last night's PBS NewsHour/EdWeek: "New changes to an FCC program could help schools by offering to fund fiber networks of their own." (How schools with the slowest Internet could get re-wired)
"By second grade, it was clear that while Zack Smith could sit in a chair, he had no intention of staying in it. He was disruptive in class, spoke in a loud voice, and had a hard time taking turns with others... Where Zack eventually landed is clinging spread-eagle to an east-facing slab of quartzite in the West Virginia panhandle." From Outside magazine (ADHD Is Fuel for Adventure)
"The digital divide and lack of reliable Internet access at home can put low-income and rural students at a real disadvantage. So when superintendent Darryl Adams took over one of the poorest school district in the nation, he made it a top priority to help his students get online 24/7."
The truth of the matter is that in this global economy we talk about so much and so often, my students are competing with everyone... And so it was important to me to sort of find some sort of a tool where I could say, ‘I think these are the skill sets they’re getting that make them competitive.'
-- Tiffany Huitt, the principal of a 415-student Dallas magnet school that has administered the exam multiple times via EWA (Exam Gives Glimpse of How Schools Stack Up Globally)
Shoutout to this cool principal @doctor_kool at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Maryland for inspiring kids to be the best they can be and always having their best interest in mind --- in the coolest way possible! P.S he used to be one of our staff member's Vice Principal back in HS and he's still doing it big I see! #TSRPositiveImages "Good, better, best...never let it rest... Till your good is your better, and your better is your best! "Posted by The Shade Room on Tuesday, January 5, 2016
While some colleges and airlines are banning so-called hoverboards, and a priest who hoverboarded his way through part of a ceremony got in trouble, this principal [@doctor_kool] is using his hoverboard to try and hype his kids and staff. Go over to my Facebook page if the video doesn't render properly.
By far the most interesting of Forbes' 2016 30 Under 30: Education list is WteiLab's Matthew Remirez, who not only thinks that 90 percent of feedback kids need to learn writing can be automated but also has time to do some ballroom dancing (and showed off some moves on camera). Thanks to the folks at Forbes for digging out this embeddable video.
It took me a few minutes to figure out what Conor Williams was talking about in his latest oped for The Seventy Four (Education Politics vs. Practice) but eventually I figured out that it was implementation.
"What if we considered implementation seriously when thinking about education policy? What if we started with our big priorities, and then mapped theories of action for putting them into place? What if we insisted on only pushing policies that would powerfully improve kids’ experiences at school?"
“We’ve got to get out of this cycle where we think the job is done when a policy gets enacted,” says Haycock. “When you know what’s in the policymaker’s head and you see how distant that is from the heads of the people on the ground, you can’t help but feel urgency on this."
Related posts: RTTT: "Implementation & Support Unit" Needs Results.
Assessments don’t create learning... We are interested in helping students learn and teachers teach, but tests, no... We create products that are whole solutions for people — that allow kids to learn how to create and engage on a different level.
-- Apple's Tim Cook in BuzzFeed (Apple Won't Make The "Test Machines")
- NAPC head Nina Rees in The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Online schools creating divisions in national charter school movement)
"A public elementary school in Harlem, New York, is adopting a radical idea that threatens the education industry as we know it, SOLEs, Self-Organized Learning Environments." From the PBS NewsHour -- includes reactions from teachers and a union rep.
So there's this guy, a former venture capitalist, named Ted Dintersmith, and apparently everyone else but me (and possibly you) has heard of him already.
But not to worry -- we can catch up quick. The latest thing I've seen (by which I mean the first) is this Answer Sheet oped penned by him (A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school) but bylined by Valerie Strauss, in which we learn that he helped bankroll the documentary “Most Likely To Succeed” and get his world view of education (trailer above).
But Dintersmith's been everywhere, media-wise, in recent weeks and months, including a previous Valerie Strauss piece, Huff Post, Boston Globe (oped), NYTimes (Brooks review of the movie), a Politico mention, a Journal-Sentinel Q&A.
There's more, but you get the idea.
Get your own impression, but to me Dintersmith comes off like an unholy mashup of Bill Gates/WhitneyTilson/Sir Ken Robinson -- with maybe a bit of Bob (2 million minutes) Compton thrown in.
Truth is, I first came across his blog 3 years ago, when he was coming off a big trip with his family and spending time in NYC. Among the more memorable things he wrote at the time was his impression that of Michelle Rhee-run StudentsFirst organization, which described as "an angry dog barking up the wrong tree."
So that explains the appearances in the Answer Sheet.
To my credit (if not to the credit of my memory), I did apparently share out something about the documentary this spring:
“The longer students experiences personalized learning practices, the greater their growth in achievement,” asserts a new report from the Gates Foundation (Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning) #inacol15
"For the first time, most state-required summative assessments in U.S. elementary and middle schools will be administered via technology rather than by paper and pencil in the 2015-16 school year, according to a report released Thursday by EdTech Strategies, LLC, a research and consulting firm." Edweek (Paperless Testing: Most Grade 3-8 Students To Be Assessed Online in 2016).
The Council of the Great City Schools released a new report on student testing in the U.S., followed by a panel discussion with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and others.
Watch the testing briefing above. (Click here if it's not displaying properly.) Or watch this PBS NewsHour segment about the study and the proposal (featuring the NYT's Kate Zernike):
"In the four years since we rolled out ACE at scale, we’ve seen about an 80 percent initial pass rate; we’ve offered extension plans to about another 10 percent, some of whom then pass in their second year. As of fall 2014, 170,000 students have been taught by teachers who passed the ACE screen in those seven cities." via TNTP (Teacher Prep…What’s Data Got to Do With It?)
"While not everybody was thrilled at the public invitation via Twitter, the President made good on his promise, hosting Mohamed and 300 other students for the White House’s second “Astronomy Night” on Monday. (Mediaite). See Twitter for images of the POTUS and the Texas student.
“Machines are automating a whole bunch of these things, so having the softer skills, knowing the human touch and how to complement technology, is critical, and our education system is not set up for that,” said Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, where he studies education - in the NYT (How the Modern Workplace Has Become More Like Preschool)
In case you hadn't seen it already, NPR's education team has launched a new themed series, dubbed Ideas.
Its motto: "There's nothing new under the sun in education. Except when there is. We'll explore how innovation happens, who drives it and what works."
So far, Ideas item include "An EdTech Buzzword Bingo Card, Higher Ed's Moneyball?, and (my favorite so far) The Mind-Reading Robo Tutor In The Sky.
The previous series, 50 Great Teachers, was apparently a big hit.
Check it out. Tell me what you think -- or what you hope they do or don't cover (drones! hoverboards!).
Watch out, Khan Academy, TED Talks, Coursera, and all the others who are trying to educate America via video. According to the NYT, here comes MasterClass, in which folks like Serena Williams, James Patterson, Usher, and Dustin Hoffman share their knowledge for $90 a course.
The whole idea of Common Core was to bring students and schools under a common definition of what success is... And Common Core is not going to have that. One of its fundamental arguments has been knocked out from under it. - Brookings' Tom Loveless in AP (As Common Core results trickle in, initial goals unfulfilled)
I've always been confused by the seemingly absurd dichotomy. Brilliant computer geeks and digital geniuses create such potentially liberating technologies. But, they also became a driving force in corporate school reform and its efforts to turn schools back to the early 20th century.
Gosh, as Greg Toppo explains in The Game Believes in You, computer games were pioneered by a small group of mostly unconnected, visionaries, In the earliest days of the 1960s computer breakthroughs, some inventors were even influenced by LSD. So, why did such creative people commit to turning schools into a sped up Model T assembly line?
It would be too much to ask of Toppo, or any other single writer, to definitively answer this question but his excellent book helps us understand why so many architects of 21st century technological miracles helped impose test, sort, reward, and punish, bubble-in malpractice on our schools.
Toppo chose to study computer gaming after his still dynamic young daughter became disenchanted with reading, and after he tired of reporting on school reform wars. The fundamental problem predates corporate school reform; for instance, 1/3rd of high school graduates never go on to read another book for the rest of their lives. And, as teacher and reading expert Kelly Gallagher says, the problem is both under- and over-teaching of reading. But, full-blown "readicide" has been made far worse by the test prep which was caused by output-driven, competition-driven reform.
At exactly the same time that schools have taken the questionable path of implementing more high-stakes standardized tests keyed to the abilities of some imaginary bell-curved students, games have gone the opposite route, embedding sophisticated assessment into gameplay ... becoming complex learning tools that promise to deflate the tired 'teach to the test' narrative that weighs down so many great teachers and schools.
The Game Believes in You does a great job explaining the cognitive science behind computer games (and in doing so he may foreshadow an explanation why corporate school reformers became so obsessed with competition that they helped impose nonstop worksheet-driven, basic skills instruction on so many schools.)
Former CPS CEO Paul Vallas blames successors [including Duncan] for $1B deficit ABC7 Chicago: "In 2001, the district had $1.2 billion in cash reserves," said Paul Vallas, former CPS CEO. "They had six years of structurally balanced budgets."
Dyett hunger-strikers vow to continue fight Chicago Sun-Times: Randi Weingarten, president of the Washington D.C.-based American Federation of Teachers — which boasts 1.6 million members — joined the hunger strikers Wednesday at a news conference outside of Dyett. See also Washington Post.
D.C. schools attracted record amounts of philanthropy in recent years Washington Post: D.C. public schools attracted more than $31 million from national foundations in 2010, far more than any other school district in the country.
State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores EdSource Today: Earlier this month, as the department got ready to send parents the initial student scores on the new tests sometime over the next few weeks, department officials deleted old test results going back more than 15 years from the most accessible part of the department’s website, impeding the public’s ability to make those comparisons.
This Company Just Started Offering Free, Customized Tutoring Online BuzzFeed: The tech company, which has powered some of the largest education companies, breaks out on its own with a free online learning service, Knewton.com.
Embattled Albuquerque Schools Chief to Learn Fate AP: The embattled superintendent of New Mexico's largest school district is expected to learn Thursday if he'll stay on the job or be forced out just two months into his position. Board members are scheduled to vote on whether Luis Valentino will remain the head of Albuquerque Public Schools after he hired an administrator who faces child sex abuse charges.
Former Sen. Mary Landrieu: Charters Increased Equity In New Orleans Schools PK12: For the Louisiana Democrat, the most important story in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is the enhanced equity in the New Orleans' education system.
New Orleans' Teaching Force Today: Whiter, Less Experienced, Higher Turnover Teacher Beat: The city's teaching force is now 49 percent black, compared to 71 percent black in 2005. About 60 percent of teachers in 2005 were trained in New Orleans colleges; in 2014, fewer than 40 percent were. Teacher experience levels dropped notably since 2003; the percentage of teachers with five or fewer years of experience increased from 33 percent to 54 percent over that time period.
Knock Knock, Teacher's Here: The Power Of Home Visits NPR: There was a time when a teacher showing up on a student's doorstep probably meant something bad. But increasingly, home visits are being used to spark parental involvement.
There Are Kids Fighting Fires In Washington State Seattle Public Radio: Until a teen escaped last week, assaulted a supervisor and then shot himself, there were 20 youth working on the fire line at the Chelan Complex Fire in central Washington. Another crew of 10 made sandwiches and meals in Okanogan County.
'George' Wants You To Know: She's Really Melissa NPR: George is a transgender fourth-grader. She's the heroine of a new book intended for readers in grades 3 to 7 and published by Scholastic, one of the largest children's publishing companies in the world.
Teachers allege problems at California virtual schools run by Va.-based company K12 Inc. Washington Post: A group of teachers at a network of California virtual schools has alleged a number of problems with the online operator, including inflated enrollment to increase per-pupil funding; violation of student privacy laws; misuse of federal funds meant to serve poor children; and inadequate services for children with disabilities. See also TeacherBeat, EdSource Today.
Virginia Online High School Pilot Is Ahead of the Curve US News: Come this fall, 100 students from across Virginia will have the chance to participate in the commonwealth's first fully online high school through a pilot program recently announced by state officials. And if the program comes to full fruition after the pilot, it would be the first of its kind in Virginia, and only the second of its kind in the country.
Texas Law Decriminalizes School Truancy AP: Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has signed into law a measure to decriminalize unexcused absences and require school districts to put preventive measures into effect.
Measuring the Impact of Common-Core Test Disruptions in Three States State EdWatch: A Smarter Balanced testing vendor has released completion rates in three states that had serious challenges giving the common-core aligned exam.
When Research Projects Replace State Tests WNYC: ICE is one of 48 [consortium schools] with a waiver from the state to offer alternatives to most of the five Regents tests required to graduate. Students still must take the English exam but for the others they can provide portfolios or special projects.
English Class in Common Core Era: ‘Tom Sawyer’ and Court Opinions NYT: The standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states, mandated many changes to traditional teaching, but one of the most basic was a call for students to read more nonfiction.
Poverty's enduring hold on school success WBEZ Chicago: Our analysis shows a vast expansion of poverty--2,244 schools have seen their proportion of low-income students increase by at least 10 percentage points over the last decade. And the number of schools struggling with concentrated poverty—where nearly every child in the school is low-income— has ballooned.
More news below (and throughout the day at @alexanderrusso)
"Right away, when visitors walk into an Intrinsic Schools classroom, they notice its size. Each classroom holds roughly 50 to 60 students." (A Charter School Model Different from Most WTTW Chicago)
It's all part of a new documentary the Columbia University multimedia guru has been working on, in partnership with Digital Promise, focused on Middletown NY schools.
The district is trying blended learning, and a "midpoint" program for kids not quite ready for 4th grade, among other things.
Watch John Merrow and Motoko Rich discuss this past spring's Common Core testing season above, or read the transcript here. Merrow notes that Jersey City -- not a white suburban district -- had enough opt outs that it failed to reach 95 percent, which if confirmed would be the first such district I've heard about. Or maybe Albuquerque NM also?
Tech start-up CEO Rachel Jacobs among Amtrak crash victims USA Today: Rachel Jacobs, the CEO of a tech education start-up in Philadelphia, was confirmed dead Wednesday evening after an Amtrak train derailment the previous day killed at least seven passengers and injured another 200.
Feds deny Seattle school district’s request for its own No Child waiver Seattle Times: The U.S. Department of Education says it doesn't want to let one district operate "outside of the state's accountability system."
Calif. Unions Appeal 'Deeply Flawed' Vergara Ruling TeacherBeat: A judge's ruling last summer to overturn teacher-protection statutes was thinly argued and misread state constitutional law, they contend.
Why More of America's Students Are Finishing High School Atlantic Education: One reason for the academic improvements cited in the report is the closure of 800 schools since 2002 that featured chronically low graduation rates, campuses sometimes known as “dropout factories.”
Louisiana Lawmakers Strike Preliminary Deal Over Common Core State EdWatch: The deal could signal an approaching peace, or at least a cease-fire, in the long-running war over the common core and the PARCC test in Louisiana.
Closing Costs: Parents Push For Role In Choosing New Charter School Operator WWNO Louisiana: The school year is winding down, and for three New Orleans charters, the last day will bring dramatic changes. Two of those schools are closing for good. The third – kindergarten through 8th grade school Andrew H. Wilson Charter – is getting a new operator.
Were Chicago's public schools ever good? WBEZ Chicago: Ultimately, we decided to look at when CPS did a good job preparing students for successful careers; that is: When did the district best prepare people to be productive, taxpaying citizens? Career readiness is a consistent expectation, and it’s possible to compare one era to another. See also AP: Moody's Downgrades Chicago Schools, Park District Ratings
27 resources on education, from a reporter who’s covered it PBS NewsHour: When my wife and I moved recently, the process forced me to dig through piles of stuff and discard what I didn’t care enough about to pack and then unpack. In the process I came across some really good stuff, and that triggered this list of books, organizations, films, and websites that I value.
There are lots of education types who travel up and down the Boston-DC corridor on Amtrak, and Rachel Jacobs of AppreNet is being reported as missing after the Philadelphia Amtrak crash last night. She's described as a 39 year old Swarthmore grad & mother of a young child. You can follow updates via Twitter here.
Now I'm going to actively try and recruit you to join me and many others you know over there, so we can see each other's aggregated social media feeds.
Sounds fun, right?
What Nuzzel does, essentially, is let you know when a certain number -- 10-, 2o -- of your social media friends has tweeted about something.
It's like a personalized list of what's trending, which saves a ton of time scrolling through individual updates and watching twitter.
Now, what Nuzzel Friends does is allows you to see your friends' trending stories, too.
So if you're wondering what's big in Larry Ferlazzo's world right now, you click on his Nuzzel feed and it's all there. Or CoopMike, or Gordon Wright (who introduced me to the app a few months ago).
The reason that's helpful is that it makes sure that you're not just reading the 5 items that one or another swarm of Twitter friends is talking about. "Regular" Nuzzel can get pretty predictable unless you're super-careful to create a broad and diverse Twitter follow list.
As you can see from this screengrab, there are already lots of folks you probably already know using Nuzzel. Just a few weeks ago, it was just a few. What are you waiting for? Get on board, and then let me know how you like it.
Seems like a slow day, so maybe you'd be best off spending the rest of it watching #NSVFSummit updates scroll by. It's mostly folks chronicling the event, rather than reacting pro or con, and it may or may not be NSVF's best summit ever. But it's good to know what folks are doing and saying, whether you agree or not. Let me know if something unusual happens!
I don't know if things have been especially lively in those states, in terms of glitches or opt-outs, or if the state and district agencies have done a particular good or bad job preparing for this round, but we shall see.
I've asked Smarter Balanced for a similar schedule but have yet to receive or see any such thing.
Watch yesterday's Fordham interview with Greg Toppo about his book on game-based learning, with interviewer Robert Pondiscio. Or, click below to watch the trailer for Standardized, an anti-testing documentary that's been making the rounds.
Most folks have responded to this week's Nick Kristof NYT column (Beyond Education Wars) by focusing on two main things brought up on the column: the vicious in-fighting on education that's been going on for a while now and the possibility that the combatants (liberals, moderates, Republicans, and conservatives) could rally around early childhood education.
Many --including TWIE contributor John Thompson -- think Kristof is onto something. And they may well be right. But left by the wayside is Kristof's claim that reform efforts are really stalemated (that everyone agrees as much), and to a lesser extent the very real obstacles that have kept political factions from rallying around early childhood education for several years now and may continue to do so.
Let's all take a look at both those things before packing up and pivoting (or thinking that others are going to). I am sad to report that I'm not so sure that the stalemate or the consensus are as clear as Kristof and others might wish them to be.
One more thing about tablets: Here Come the Chromebooks. This story from Scholastic Administrator (site sponsor) and Michelle Davis describes how Chromebook sales have skyrocketed in recent months even as tablet sales and uses have come under pressure. Check it out!
Bloomberg News' latest story on Amplify is enough to give us all pause to reconsider the enthusiasm (hype?) surrounding edtech in general and tablets in particular -- even if it wasn't following Bright's recent article on blended learning (also skeptical) earlier this week. GSV+ASU Summit, were you listening?
For example, the Bloomberg article (by Laura Colby) reminds us that it'll be 7 more years before schools all have high-speed Internet. And, as of last year, instructional materials in print still sell more than twice as much as digital materials.
But the Bloomberg article has some issues, both factual and rhetorical,which raise questions about the accuracy of the picture readers get of Amplify in the spring of 2015 and remind me of the seemingly prevalent trend in education journalism towards decontextualized fault-finding that's almost as annoying as the "gee, whiz!" coverage from five and ten years ago.
I'll lay it all out below.
Today's the last day of the three-day GSV+ASU Summit in Scottsdale Arizona, which has some of the edtech aspects of SXSWedu, some of the venture capital/innovation feel of the NSVF event, and also seems to have some EIA (Education Industry Association) elements. It's big -- 2,500 -- but "much more focused on the deal-making/business [side] of education than other conferences," according to event organizers. (Yeah, Mark Cuban was there.)
Today's lineup includes some familiar folks, like Arthur Levine, who's there to talk about the coming transformation of higher education. Colorado state senator Mike Johnston --apparently one of New Leaders' co-founders -- was also there. Common (the rapper) was there, too. (Did you see his performance on the Jimmy Fallon lip synch show vs. John Legend, BTW?). Miami-Dade's Alberto M. Carvalho was there. Duncan, of course. (The USDE Office of Education Technology got on the Medium bandwagon with this post from the event).
Michele Molnar's EdWeek writeup (Education Business Summit Explores Issue of Learning Equity) notes that reducing inequality is a big motivation for edtech hopes (perhaps attendees didn't read about education's limited impact on inequality or mobility). Betsy Corcoran's EdSurge writeup (Reporter's Notebook: ASU GSV Summit Packs in Edtech Fans) notes that there are lots more teachers there than in the past and that only the newbies go to the panels (everyone else is in meetings doing deals).
There's been some controversy surrounding the event, or at least GSV. One of its advisors is an Emanuel school board appointee to the school board ("Enough Is Enough": Education Investor Denounces Meddling Journalists). GSV's Mike Moe was an education advisor to Newt Gingrich in 2011.
The media coverage includes Nichole Dobo (Hechinger), Michele Molnar (EdWeek), Donnie Dicus (Bright), and EdSurge, WashPo, NYT, Inside Higher Ed I'm told. Broadcast crews from Bloomberg and PBS are apparently there, too.Bright is Gates-funded (so is EdWeek). EdSurge is GSV-funded.
Related posts: Test Prep & Instructional Materials $37B Of $789B K12 Spending.