Tag: online learning

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal talks with Julie Young, ASU Vice President of Education Outreach and Student Services, and Managing Director of ASU Prep Academy and ASU Prep Digital. They discuss the implications of COVID-19’s disruption of American K-12 education and the future of digital learning. Julie describes the enrollment growth her organization has seen as a result of parent demand for alternatives to public offerings, which comes on top of the growth in online schooling that pre-dated the pandemic (an 80 percent increase in enrollment during the last decade). Julie answers critics who claim digital schooling can’t work for early childhood, urban, or special needs students. She shares insights on quality digital education curriculum materials and approaches to subject areas that some assume are not well suited for digital learning.

Stories of the Week: Co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson discuss a Wall Street Journal investigation into Facebook, showing that the company is aware of mental health issues especially among teen girls, connected to Instagram. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has ordered school classes to resume in grades seven to 12 – but only for boys.

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.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. Michael shares his thoughts on his mentor, the late Clayton Christensen, a renowned Harvard Business School professor, influential thinker, and best-selling author. They discuss the lessons we are all learning from the COVID crisis about technical advancements that allow schools to innovate, in ways that were unthinkable just 20 years ago. Michael explains his view of online learning as a means of shifting the focus from schooling en masse to individual growth and mastery, and the need to provide incentives for meaningful student outcomes. They also explore which states are leading in digital learning, which are lagging behind, and specific initiatives that are making a dramatic difference in children’s preparedness for kindergarten and academic achievement.

Stories of the Week: How should states move forward on online learning during COVID-19? A new Pioneer report by digital learning innovator Julie Young offers tips for state policymakers and district leaders seeking guidance on equipment, teacher preparation, meeting special education needs, and more. In California, Governor Newsom is identifying strategies for re-opening in the aftermath of the pandemic, including staggered start times, classrooms reconfigured for social distancing, and more online learning.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Kevin Chavous, President of Academics, Policy, and Schools of K12, Inc. They talk with Kevin about how his background and experiences visiting local state prisons and schools as a D.C. City Councilor led him to become one of the first Democrats to support charter schools. Kevin describes his work with other education reformers on behalf of the Opportunity Scholarship Program for D.C.’s low-income children and the “three-sector” system of combined federal support for public, charter, and private school scholarships that has resulted in 90-percent graduation and college attendance rates. Kevin calls for reframing public education from a robotic, factory approach to a model that is more responsive to the diverse needs of kids and parents. He discusses his current work in digital learning, promoting an innovative, state-of-the-art online learning curriculum now used in 100 schools, in over 30 states, to engage students unable to thrive in a traditional setting.

Stories of the Week: In Tennessee, the ACLU and other organizations have filed suit against the state over an Education Savings Account program that expands school choice for families in Memphis and Nashville, claiming public schools will be “irreparably harmed” by so-called “illegal spending.” In New Hampshire, some lawmakers are again pushing the state to accept $46 million in federal grant funding that was rejected by Democratic legislators because it was designated for charter school expansion. Are politics getting in the way of what’s best for the Granite State’s 1,300 children on charter school waiting lists?

This week on “The Learning Curve,” guest co-hosts Alisha Thomas Cromartie & Kerry McDonald talk with Julie Young, Deputy Vice President of Education Outreach and Student Services for Arizona State University and CEO of ASU Prep Digital High School. In 2019, 2.7 million K-12 students had an online schooling experience, an 80 percent increase since 2009, with 32 states offering fully online schools. Julie explains the wide appeal of online education for students of all kinds, especially those with learning differences, who are seeking a positive academic experience and more flexibility. They also discuss which states are leading the way and lagging behind, the variety and growth of digital learning programs, and how they enable students to accelerate their learning and contain the costs of higher education.

Stories of the Week: In his State of the Union Address this week, President Trump called on Congress to pass a tax credit scholarship program for low-income students to attend private and religious schools. But is this the proper role of the federal government? Where are the administration’s other proposals for improving public education, and is the rhetoric around school choice becoming politicized? A new report finds that 21 states have made it a high school graduation requirement that students pass a financial literacy course. Is this a welcome opportunity to help young people develop responsible budgeting skills and habits, or is it a form of state-mandated intrusion into subject matter that should be covered at home?

ChoiceMedia‘s Bob Bowdon and Pioneer Institute‘s Cara Candal talk about charter school authorizing in California and a recent bill that gives school districts rather than the state  the authority to approve  charter schools; good news for online learning programs in Oklahoma; and is there a shortage of teachers in American schools? Plus, Bob calls out Dale Russakoff for a selective New York Times  interpretation of Success Academies.

In their Newsmaker Interview, Bob & Cara talk with Erica Smith of the Institute for Justice, about the history and implications of the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue Supreme Court case, which could help low-income families access private and parochial schools in over 30 states.