April 2014

Big question for edtech: But how do we know what’s working?

As more than 900 entrepreneurs and educators converge in San Francisco this week, some will talk academic standards, literacy and charter schools. Others will bypass weighty sessions at NewSchools Venture Fund summit altogether, preferring to tinker with dozens of new tools and products that promise to “transform teaching and learning.’’ Participants can teach to student […]

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Using better metrics to build better schools

Envision runs a group of three charter high schools in the Bay Area. They champion, as many schools do these days, “deeper learning” and “21st century skills.” Envision enacts this philosophy through a “Know-Do-Reflect” process that uses projects, portfolios and presentations to integrate assessment with learning. They prompt students to turn the lens both inward […]

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Almost 70% of teachers are not engaged. Here’s why that matters so much

Wednesday Gallup released a major report on the State of American Schools. Their data paints a picture of schools performing as a complex ecosystem, with the wellbeing, engagement, and performance of teachers, students, and principals all intertwined. The report combines decades of surveys of 5 million American teachers and principals with the results of the Gallup […]

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Do public schools beat private schools? The quality of evidence

Tuition at many of New York City’s top private schools is over $40,000 a year. That’s more than Harvard. It’s grown almost 50 percent in the past decade–faster than private university tuition.  It goes without saying that parents who shell this money out believe that their children will be getting a better education in exchange for all […]

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The fate of big data after inBloom

Yesterday, a $100 million startup lost its last customer. According to a Politico article, the state of New York, inBloom‘s last remaining client, will delete all student data on the repository due to privacy concerns. InBloom’s company spokesperson told Politico the nonprofit was “pushing forward with our mission,” though at the moment there are no known state partners. The […]

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“Unprecedented” numbers opt out of state tests–what’s next?

Today students in New York State begin three days of state-mandated tests in English language arts.  But thousands of families across the state, from Syracuse and Buffalo to the Hudson Valley, Long Island to New York City, will sit out the tests, citing concerns with their relevance and the sense that the curriculum has been […]

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