Education Innovation Report
I. The Problem
“Education is really a right, and it shouldn’t be something for Wall Street to make a lot of money off of,” is the closing line of this op-ed by Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor, publisher, and part-owner of the magazine The Nation. The piece focuses on the fact that this country’s severe student debt weighs down the entire economy. More and more students are forced to return home to live. Marriage becomes less imaginable; and public-interest work is less affordable.
It’s not just the bad economy that today’s grads are entering, they’re actually entering it with the wrong portfolios altogether. Folks from abroad - whose special visas we grant - have the scientific and technical skills that American companies need but that not enough American students are acquiring. Fixing loan rates only goes so far - what else can we do to we guarantee a certain quality of life?
In a rebuttal to Frank Bruni’s stance in this piece, Prof. of Anthropology, Paul Stoller, asks “Is public higher education a place for skill acquisition or is it space for teaching young people how to think?” in his op-ed in HuffPo.
II. The Solution
In an interview with the founder of Matchbook Learning, which is turning around underperforming K-12 public schools with an innovative blended model of school, public schools are identified as the beacon for an entire city of what’s possible when we empower kids to dream and provide them pathways for achieving those dreams. The founder’s advice to anyone who wants to start a new business in education:
"Understand the problem you are trying to solve. Diagnose the root cause(s) of the problem. Be patient and develop a vision for a solution that scales to the breadth of the problem you are trying to solve. Leverage conditions that enable you to pilot, launch, and scale your vision."
This website, which is part of TED.com, aims to support teachers building lesson plans around its videos.
The emphasis of this school on beyond-the-classroom learning seems to be working - the attendance rate of this preexisting school has jumped from 23% to 90% over the past few years and test scores are on the rise. The whole strategy is around “flattening the walls of the school” to keep students engaged.
The Transformative Power of Personalized Learning (personal blog)
In this recap of the ASU Education Innovation Summit, this was the mantra: “The critical moment is approaching when education stops being primarily about cramming students into a single mold of mandatory proficiencies and starts being about encouraging children and adults of every age to discover and follow their interests with reckless abandon.” Read for the factors that should drive online learning tools in order to power this kind of life-changing personal education.
Seven must-read books on education from Maria Popova.Tweet
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