We at CRPE have been watching the evolution of New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) “iZone” for years. Betheny Gross and I did a paper on the early days of the iZone, when the district was asking about 200 schools to radically rethink their instruction, assessment, and staffing to revolve around personalization and customization for each student.
This blog was originally published in Fordham's Flypaper.
Tennessee is breaking ground on how it addresses its lowest-performing schools by employing both district-led (iZone) and state-led (Achievement School District) turnaround efforts. Very early results show both promise and concern—and illustrate how incredibly hard school turnarounds can be.
There’s a Jewish parable about the mother of a boy who hates kreplach. The mother tries to ease the boy into liking the traditional dumplings by having him cook some with her. The boy is excited about the prospect of cooking together. He exclaims with delight at the addition of each ingredient—the beef, the potatoes, the onions. He helps roll out the dough and adds the filling. But at the moment the kreplach begin to take shape, he screams in terror, “GAAAH! Kreplach!”
Grappling with new ways to solve problems is a regular challenge in the K–12 space, yet good ideas don’t fall from the trees. Technology is now being used to try to solve problems like differentiating learning in classrooms, but could it help us address some of K–12’s stickier system-wide challenges?
I was reading about these innovations in other sectors and wondered whether they might have a use in education:
With the rewritten Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), responsibility for improving outcomes for students is back where some say it has always belonged—under the purview of states. One thing is clear: as states take on their new responsibilities, they will need to use evidence to effect change, protect what is working, and ensure limited resources are used wisely. Few are well positioned to do so today. Many state education agencies (SEA) have no defined, dedicated research or analysis capacity.
Robin Lake encourages Washington state to support charter schooling in this guest blog originally published in Fordham's Flypaper.