Category Archives: Reform

Videos of New Types of Schools

A ten part set of short videos (about ten minutes each) describe Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston, an elementary school founded by Deborah Meier. The school a part of the Boston public school has greater decision making authority as a “pilot” school and emphasizes democratic principles. The video series, A Year at Mission Hill [...]

Institute for Democratic Education in America

A fairly new organization the, Institute for Democratic Education in America identifies critical areas for learning that “equip every human being to participate fully in a healthy democracy.” Their website urges reinventing education strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably. It offers examples, links, definitions, invitations to become involved and a host of resources. Clearly, an up-and-coming organization [...]

School Choice Necessary for Education

The Brown Center on Education at Brookings published a system for ranking school districts on how much choice of educational programs is afforded children. They argue that options are necessary  and valuable in an article and short video. Their rank of 25 large cities on 13 criteria ranges from grades B to D.  Their booklet Expanding [...]

Social and Emotional Learning Impact

CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning has promoted a thorough study, “The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions,” on the impact on social and emotional learning. Encompassing 213 studies involving 270,000 students, the authors find significant impacts from practices not only on academic learning but [...]

Online Learning Resources

Online learning, virtual schools, cyber schools, blended learning terms apply to the fastest growing area of learning alternatives, both K-12 and higher education. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) a nonprofit representing 3,800 members tracks advocacy, networking, professional growth and research areas. They provide or list webinars, conferences and news. A new website OnlineSchools.com aims to be a [...]

Leaders Affirm the Importance of Choice

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) and the US Department of Education assembled leaders from 20 of the largest school district for a discussion of providing choices. Their report Reforming Districts Through Choice, Autonomy, Equity, and Accountability: An Overview of the Voluntary Public School Choice Directors Meeting strongly affirmed the importance of providing learning alternatives [...]

Whyville, Home to 6 Million Students

The developer in 1999 of Whyville, Dr. James Bower gives a delightful talk entitled, The Death of Textbooks, Emergence of Games in a little over an hour webinar and describes the fascination young students have with creating an alter ego (avatar) and a whole new world to shape and manipulate. Whyville now attracts 5,000 teachers and some 6.8 [...]

Pathways to Prosperity

Pathways to Prosperity Project based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education released a major new report examining the reasons for our failure to prepare so many young adults, and advancing an exciting vision for how the United States might regain the leadership in educational attainment it held for over a century. Pathways to Prosperity: [...]

How To Videos: Extraordinary Resource

EdVisions Schools have made their Design Essentials videos available to all. These are profoundly helpful in seeing how a variety of educational practices are conducted in project-based learning and non-course based schools or others moving toward student-centered learning. Here are examples from the category Self-Directed, Project-Based Learning: Self-directed, project-based learning primary focus; driven by constructivist [...]

Rise of K–12 Blended Learning

A recent report The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning about online learning begins with this startling statement: “Online learning is sweeping across America. In the year 2000, roughly 45,000 K–12 students took an online course. In 2009, more than 3 million K–12 students did. What was originally a distance learning phenomenon no longer is. Most [...]

New Schools

A Radically Different World If you think our future will require better schools, you’re wrong. The future of education calls for entirely new kinds of learning environments. If you think we will need better teachers, you’re wrong. Tomorrow’s learners will need guides who take on fundamentally different roles. As every dimension of our world evolves [...]

100 Years War Against Learning

Dr. Don Glines has poured his energy, extensive experience and knowledge of research about learning into this extraordinary article, “100 Years Against Learning.” He likens the actual 100 Years War to the more than 100 years during which schools have ignored learning principles. He asks why do we still have, for example, seventh graders. He says [...]

Ultimate Parent Empowerment

California’s “parent trigger ” law enacted in 2010 permits parents with a 51% vote in a failing school to either close the school, replace the school’s administrators, replace the school’s teachers, or convert the school into a charter. Making the news, parents at McKinley Elementary School in Compton California voted 60% to transform their school [...]

School Reformers Missing Crucial Ingredient

Marc Prensky, originator of the terms digital native and digital immigrant, writes that today’s education reformers miss the most important ingredient for education change, namely the curriculum. He states, reformers speak of the importance of teachers and principals, methods of instruction, length of the day and year, teacher preparation and other factors but assume the conventional [...]

Alternative Certification

Attempts at circumventing conventional licensing have led to the availability of alternative certification, that is programs for becoming licensed to teach or administer without going through the traditional sequence. A valuable resource for examining this route is www.educationdegree.com and then clicking on Alternative Certification. This continually updated website of 1,700 colleges and school districts contains valuable time-saving information including B.A, M.A and [...]