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Data Ubiquity May One Day Revolutionize Education

By: Sebasti

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Grading the American Education System and Federal Education Policy

Last month, the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Renewing America initiative published a progress report and scorecard on federal education policy, providing striking comparisons between the US system and those found in other developed nations.  The report sheds light on the grimmest details of federal education policy and the shortcomings that led to the nation’s decline in worldwide educational rankings.  Through their research and exploration, the authors identified a persistent and consistent shortcoming of the American system, the manifestations of which can be seen across the educational spectrum in the United States. … Read the rest

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Preparing K-12 Students for Post K-12 Years

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  As an educator, I believe Mr. Franklin’s statement is accurate.  Recently, however, an international ranking of educational success found that despite its role as a global superpower, the United States lags behind other countries.  Top performers include Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan, Estonia, Japan, and Korea.  Finland grabbed the top spot while the United States ranked 17th in the world in science and 24th in math.  Yesterday, The Washington Post published data from the ACT that speaks to the “gap” in college preparedness. … Read the rest

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Why Private Schools are Dying Out

On May 16, 2013, The Atlantic published an article written by Chester Finn, titled “Why Private Schools Are Dying Out.” Finn explores private schools in America and why they’re “dying out.”  While most of the article discusses the situation as it applies to private schools, the author also writes that non-elite, private colleges are also burdened with similar challenges, namely needing to heavily discount tuition in order to attract students.

Many years ago when I was a seventh grader, I was fortunate to be awarded an academic scholarship to attend a private school in Baltimore at nearly no cost to my parents. … Read the rest

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Revisiting No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, which received bipartisan support for its passage in 2001, requires that states implement a variety of assessment mechanisms for students and teachers in order to qualify for federal education funding.  This federal act does not establish criteria to which all states must adhere; the means of assessment are left to each state to implement as it sees fit.  In January 2001, President George W. Bush said of NCLB, “’These reforms express my deep belief in our public schools and their mission to build the mind and character of every child, from every background, in every part of America.’” Calling it the “cornerstone” of his Administration, President Bush touted the various components of NCLB.… Read the rest

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Education Innovation Summit 2011

This past week, I was invited to participate on a panel at the Education Innovation Summit organized by ASU SkySong (affiliated with Arizona State University) and NeXtAdvisors. The goal of the summit’s organizers is to “’curate’ an environment that provides the right mix of wild-eyed education entrepreneurs, value added investors, not-for-profit leaders, progressive policy makers, academic thought leaders, and forward leaning foundations, philanthropists and industry executives.” Based on the attendees that I met as well as my fellow presenters and panelists, I believe that the organizers hit their mark.… Read the rest

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Pick Books You Like

I read an article by Motoko Rich in the August 29, 2009 issue of The New York Times that talks about the future of reading.  Rich writes about Lorrie McNeill, a middle school teacher in Jonesboro, Georgia who last fall turned over the reading assignments for her seventh and eighth graders to the students themselves.

Rich states that the approach, called reading workshop, is catching on throughout America’s public schools as a way to teach students how to enjoy reading rather than forcing them to read traditional tomes such as Toni Morrison’s  Beloved or Harper Lee‘s To Kill a Mockingbird, a selection that McNeill used to require her students to read. … Read the rest

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Characteristics of the Class of 2020

Whenever I can find a good book or research paper on the topic of distance education, I will usually obtain a copy in order to see if there’s a trend or idea that is worth noting or pursuing.  For a few weeks, I had noted the ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education touting their new report, “The College of 2020:  Students.”  I had to pay for the report, so I’m sure that the Chronicle wouldn’t like it if I provided a blow-by-blow description of its contents. … Read the rest

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The Economic Benefits of Closing the Achievement Gap in American Schools

achievementgapMcKinsey & Company released a report in April of this year titled, “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools.”  The report identifies four aspects of the achievement gap in American schools: the international achievement gap, the racial achievement gap, the income achievement gap, and system-based achievement gaps.  The findings in the report are striking in their sense of urgency and are worth discussing.

The authors state that “the United States lags significantly behind other advanced nations in educational performance and is slipping further behind on some important measures.”  An interesting element of this particular analysis is that this international disparity in educational achievement affects every American student equally, regardless of race, income, or location. … Read the rest

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Department of Education Study Finds that Online Education is Beneficial to Student Learning

The U.S. Department of Education released the findings of a meta-analysis conducted by its Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development on Friday that confirm what online educators have known for years: “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” 

Online education has gained tremendous momentum in the last several years.  A November 2008 report titled, “Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States, 2008” published by the Sloan Consortium notes that during the fall 2007 semester, some 3.9 million students were taking at least one course online, representing a twelve percent increase over the previous year. … Read the rest

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