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April 19, 2018
The highs and lows of Colorado education are spotlighted in ‘The Outliers’
A new report from the Denver-based education reform advocacy group A Plus Colorado examines both exemplary and struggling districts.
March 6, 2018
A tiny Indiana district is banking on virtual education to survive. But at what cost?
As a result, lawmakers are taking steps to learn more about districts that pursue in-house virtual education programs.
November 21, 2017
Policymakers agree virtual schools should get more teachers and less money. Will they make it happen?
But national and even local charter school advocates say changes need to be made at Indiana Virtual School and online charters more broadly across the state.
October 31, 2017
As students signed up, online school hired barely any teachers — but founder’s company charged it millions
The state has set aside more than $62 million over the next two years to keep the school in business.
January 5, 2017
Educators step up to the challenges facing Indiana’s underachieving online schools
"Everything that goes on in any other school has to go on in an online school as well."
January 3, 2017
Why online learning works for these Indiana kids
Families said the self-paced nature of virtual learning, the lack of social distractions and the ability to learn anywhere, have allowed their kids to be successful
March 2, 2015
Debate over online school’s fate slated to begin
Tennessee lawmakers consider a bill that would allow a low-performing virtual school to operate through June of 2019 instead of closing this year.
October 9, 2014
With changes in leadership and funding, the splashy 'iZone' reaches a crossroads
Top officials have recently left the Innovation Zone, a Bloomberg-era initiative whose federal grants are drying up. City officials say the iZone's work is continuing, but some wonder where it fits in the new administration.
March 1, 2012
Ask an Expert: Online learning resources for kids
A mom is looking for educational apps and online games for the K-2 set. Get some good suggestions from this educational tech expert.
December 9, 2011
This week's teaching & learning tidbits
It starts by making education a national mission - Urban schools improve, but test score gaps remain - New calculation: Math in preschool - Does class size matter? - Task force to examine 4-day week impact - Charter school enrollment surges in Colorado and nationwide.
February 25, 2011
Pilot of new online classes earn mixed reviews from principals
An ambitious pilot program that's bringing online classes into dozens of public schools is getting mixed reviews from principals. The pilot, known as iLearn, is part of the city's $50 million Innovation Zone, or iZone — an initiative the Department of Education is touting as a strategy to improve schools during budget-conscious times. Funded through a combination of Race to the Top winnings, private donations and $10 million in tax dollars, the iZone is paying for experiments in online learning, staffing, and school time in 80 schools this year. Half of those schools are taking part in iLearn and are now offering students online Advanced Placement classes, credit recovery, and "blended" instruction that combines online classes with face-to-face instruction. Though iLearn hasn't earned much attention from the press, it accounts for roughly a quarter of the city's iZone spending, or $13 million over the next four years. Mid-way through the school year, principals of iLearn schools report results that vary based on whether they're experimenting with advanced courses or programs for their most struggling students. Principals of small schools where there's often too few students to fill AP classes are largely enthusiastic about the new programs. For them, iLearn is an add-on that helps their high-achievers.
April 23, 2010
In Our Online Learning Experience, More Ups Than Downs
The comments left on GothamSchools’ recent coverage of the Innovation Zone raised questions about the value of online learning similar to those we hear from…
December 16, 2008
Does Arne Duncan use a computer? His office says yes he does
A commenter named Scott raised readers' eyebrows by declaring that Obama's choice for education secretary, Arne Duncan, doesn't use a computer. Scott added, intriguingly, that: "His secretary prints out the emails he receives, he writes the response and the secretary responds. The man literally does not know how to use a computer." Not exactly, according to two spokesmen I just talked to at the Chicago public schools headquarters. It is true, they said, that Duncan sometimes has his assistant, a woman named Maribel, print out his e-mail messages for him. But he does have a computer, and he sometimes reads his own e-mail with it. He also carries a Blackberry. Said spokesman Mike Vaughn: "He’s out at schools all the time, meeting with principals and meeting with administrators, meeting with kids and teachers, various meetings throughout the city. He does not spend a whole lot of time at his desk. But there are times when he sits at his desk and reads his emails, there’s times that he responds to them with Maribel, there's times that he responds with his Blackberry." Another spokesman, Malon Edwards, said Duncan has championed bringing technology to education.
December 5, 2008
How does online learning change the school day?
Raquel Fitzgerald is one of two students from the NYCiSchool who will be writing occasional columns at GothamSchools on life as a New York City public school student. Angelica, my classmate at the NYCiSchool, already explained how she adjusted to learning online, but you might still be wondering what it's like to attend a school like ours on a day-to-day basis. A day in the life of an online school involves more computer time and less teacher time. The “commons” is the student lounge where we go to study, eat lunch or just relax. This room, filled with modern-style furniture and six plasma screen TVs, is where we first stop to catch our breath and exchange a few words with friends after traveling up five flights of stairs. At 9:00 a.m. our principals come out of their cubicles to remind us that class is starting.
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