Tag: blended learning

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Susan Patrick, the President and CEO of Aurora Institute and co-founder of CompetencyWorks. Susan shares observations about the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for American K-12 education, and the prospects for expanding digital learning. They discuss the overall quality of the remote and blended learning America’s K-12 school districts offered during the pandemic, and which states excelled. Susan shares thoughts on how digital models can help address pre-pandemic achievement gaps and learning loss due to COVID-19, especially among poor, minority, and rural students. They also review claims by skeptics of digital schooling about its efficacy for early childhood, urban, or special needs students, and best practices drawn from the pandemic for better serving these groups. Susan provides insights around digital schooling and some policy levers that national, state, and local leaders should explore to improve K-12 education.

Stories of the Week: In Michigan, families have filed suit against the state Department of Education and Ann Arbor Public Schools claiming they received inadequate special education services during the pandemic. New survey results from New America and Rutgers University find that, a year after pandemic-related school closures, 15 percent of lower-income students in a nationally representative sample still lack fast and reliable internet access at home.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Heather Staker, founder and president of Ready to Blend. They discuss her work with the late Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn on disruptive innovation and schooling, as well as her book, Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, and her recent publication, Developing a student-centered workforce through micro-credentials. They review the K-12 American public education system’s response to students’ instructional needs before and during COVID-19, the benefits and challenges of digital schooling that have come to light as a result, and the dangers of returning to the pre-pandemic status quo. They talk about some lessons drawn from other countries on digital and blended learning for American policymakers and educators. Staker also explains the benefits of diverse approaches to content mastery, including one-on-one mentoring, and opportunities for students to work both independently and collaboratively.

Stories of the Week: Declines in science scores from the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, especially pronounced among lower-performing students, could point to struggles with reading comprehension. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker is threatening to significantly reduce state tax incentives for donations to the ‘Invest in Kids’ tax credit scholarship program, which has helped 22,000 low-income children attend private schools.