Digital Learning

Today Fordham is releasing the latest installments in our Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning series,
offering a glimpse at what the digital future may hold for teachers and
school finance—and addressing potential pitfalls on the way to
realizing that promise. In one paper, “Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction,”
Bryan and Emily Hassel argue that the growth of digital learning should
greatly alter the roles and compensation of educators—although not
necessarily at the expense of teachers—by “unbundling” their
responsibilities. In the other, “School Finance in the Digital-Learning Era,”
Paul T. Hill warns that the outdated way we fund schools threatens to
cripple innovation in online education. Taken together, today’s
publications present an appealing, 21st-century approach to education—a
future threatened by our existing approaches to teaching and school
funding. Be sure to check out Flypaper over the coming days as experts post their reactions to the release; for now, download and explore the papers yourself....

This soapbox has a great view

Mike and Janie bite off big topics in this
week’s podcast—from the repeal of SB5 to racial imbalances in gifted-ed
programs to online learning. Amber wants CRPE to name names and Chris starts
subbing for the pension benefits. You’re gonna want to sit down for this.

Over the past few months, crusading Idaho state
supe Tom Luna has shepherded a flock of forward-thinking and cost-saving
reforms—including adoption of merit pay and a rollback of tenure and
collective-bargaining rights. Yet amid Luna’s bold reforms hides one black
sheep. If legislators agree in January, Idaho will become the first state to
mandate that all high schoolers take at least two courses online. (Currently,
Michigan and Alabama require students to each take one online course.)

eat your vegetables photo

You will take your online class. And you'll like it.
Photo by Justus Hayes

one of these classes must be “asynchronous”—think more “correspondence course”
and less “virtual classroom.” Gadfly is a firm believer in the potential of digital
learning to expand the reach of fantastic teachers, to individualize
instruction, and to allow for more choice in public education. But the goal
should be to expand access to digital learning, not to require kids...

Guest Blogger

?The server ate my homework.'' *

? student excuse in Munster, IN

Out With Textbooks, in With Laptops for an Indiana School District New York Times

22 Percent

Percentage increase in the proportion of new, experienced teachers hired for hard-to-staff schools between 2007 and 2009.

Pay-for-performance program pays off for Denver Public Schools Denver Top News Examiner

* This quote does not necessarily represent the views of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

The Education Gadfly

Janie and Daniela go two-for-two. This week they unpack Duncan's teacher-prep plan, quality control in digital learning, and the parallels between football and education. Amber boots out ineffective teachers and Chris calls out of turn.


The Education Gadfly

Mike and Rick raise the bar this week, discussing high achievers, Duncan's digital promise, and the textbook-company oligarchy. (Oh, and Rick confesses he has a reform-crush on L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa). Amber tackles minority-teacher retention and Chris dives head first into an NCAA lawsuit.


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