Week of Sept. 22-26
- Two School Districts Share Urban Education Prize, Education Week: The coveted $1 million Broad Prize was announced this week. Gwinnett County School District in Georgia and Orange County School District in Florida are this year’s winners. Each will receive $500K to be used for college scholarships for graduating seniors in 2015.
- Academic Skills on Web are Tied to Income Level, NY Times: Wealthier students tend to perform better than lower-income students on standardized tests. But a new study shows that there’s also a lag of students from low-income communities being able to find, evaluate, integrate, and communicate the information they find online.
- Udacity’s Thrun Drums Up $35m More for Online Education, Silicon Valley Business Journal: Proving that there’s lots of money in corporate training, Udacity is one MOOC (massive open online course) purveyor turning to this market.
- The Debate Over the Common Core, CBS Sunday Morning: The weekly show did an expose on the CCSS and where it stands at the start of another school year.
- Attorney General Holder to Step Down, Promoted Changes in School Discipline, Education Week: Alongside Sec. Duncan, Holder pushed for schools to back down from zero-tolerance policies. The Justice and Education Departments issued guidance to districts to ensure their policies don’t unfairly discriminate against specific racial, ethnic or protected groups.
Week of Sept. 15-19
- With Tech Taking Over Schools, Worries Rise, NY Times: Tech companies are collecting mounds of data on students, touching every corner of their educational lives, with few controls on how those details are used.
- LAUSD Survey Finds Little Use of iPads Curriculum, LA Times: In the first formal evaluation of the troubled iPads-for-all project in LA, only one teacher of 245 visited was using the costly online curriculum. According to the report, the reason was related to the program’s ambition, size, and speed.
- Third Cohort of Co.Lab Announced, Forbes: Co.lab, which is a partnership between NSVF and Zynga to leverage the power of digital games, announced it’s third cohort which includes seven start-ups.
- What Chicago Mayor’s Race Says About the Future of Ed Politics, Vox.com: Chicago’s mayoral race is putting tensions inside the Democratic Party front and center. On the one hand there’s Mayor Emanuel, who has been pushing ed reforms such as charter schools and changes in teacher evaluations. And then there’s challenger Karen Lewis, the current head of the Chicago Teachers Union.
Week of Sept. 8-12
- Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor, New York Times: The NY Times released its own rankings of colleges by socio-economic diversity. Many colleges have proclaimed over the years that they are recruiting a more economically diverse student body, but not all are measuring up.
- New Reports Grade Schools on Reading, Writing, and Recess, Education Week: The Rocky Mountain state is leading the trend in requiring schools to report on a variety of factors that affect students’ health and wellness. A growing body of research supports the idea that academic success and wellness are closely linked, but schools too often focus narrowly on academic skills.
- New Reduced Pricing for Amplify’s All-in-One Tablet, edSurge: Amplify will lower the cost of its tablet and has debuted new features including a marketplace for educational apps and games, and a playlist builder that allows teachers to organize digital content for students to work through.
Week of Sept. 2-5
- A School iPad Deal with Apple, Pearson Critiqued in Board Report, Education Week: The saga continues this week as LAUSD released an internal board report that offers a stinging review of the process followed by the school system in selecting Apple and Pearson as vendors.
- De Blasio Lays Out Vision for Charter School Co-Location Rules, Chalkbeat: Charters that play by the Mayor’s rules will get a leg up in the rush for coveted public school space.
- Big Year Looms for Common-Core Testing, Education Week: This is the school year that nearly every state must have assessments in place to reflect the CCSS or other college- and career-ready standards that they have adopted.
- K-12 Education Market for Personal Computing Devices Heating Up: Futuresource Consulting has run the numbers, and in stark contrast to last year at this time, notebooks account for more than half of the education market. This time last year, tablets had overtook notebooks.
- 50-State Look at How Common Core Playing Out in US, AP News: Find out the status of the standards in every state as the school year begins.
- Hot Rodding Our Way to Personalized Learning, edSurge: In an opinion from Matt Greenfield, he argues that technology can personalize learning in ways that simply are not possible with only using the resources of humans. He also notes that technology can individualize instruction beyond academics—it can spark interests in students to create unique identities.
- Why Education Trumps Poverty in Schools that Work, Forbes: In another opinion piece, this article discusses the Cristo Rey network of schools and how its reached such levels of success. (FYI: we have a great relationship with Cristo Rey—Michelle, our stellar intern, is a senior at the NYC location!)
- How Game Developers Choose Between Consumer, K12 Markets, edSurge: Lee Banville, editor of Games + Learning, explains varying business strategies that game designers are facing in a world where, he says, the differences between games for the classroom and games parents buy for kids is shrinking.
- How Software Can Make a Differentiated Experience, edSurge: This opinion piece from a NSVF leader says that the media has oversimplified edtech. The goal is not to replace teachers but provide a differentiated experience for students, and help educators transform their practice.
- CCSS Math Add Up to Big Money for Ed Companies, The Hechinger Report: While the standards are creating new business opportunities for tech and textbook companies, the number of sheer resources being slapped with a “CCSS aligned” sticker creates a dizzying environment for teachers.
- TFA Has Faced Criticism for Years, Now It’s Listening & Changing, Vox: As it starts the year off with the most diverse corps to date, TFA is undergoing significant changes. Education reporter Dana Goldstein takes an in-depth look at the organization—from its history to its future.
- COSEBOC Director: Boys of Color Still Woefully Behind in the Classroom: ED Ron Walker is interviewed to share his thoughts on how to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and how poverty has a significant impact on academic success.
- Wi-Fi in the Classroom Has to be a National Priority, Forbes Commentary: Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity, argues for reliable high-speed Internet, particularly with the promise that technology has to improve and transform teaching.
- How Edtech Startup Native Innovation Goes the Extra 300 Miles for Navajo Customers, edSurge: One edtech entrepreneur has made it his mission to serve the Navajo nation with PD that is exciting, innovative, and relevant to the culture.
- 7 EdTech Startups Making Progress with Investors, Education Dive: VCs continue to be intrigued by the sector. These seven companies have drummed up some major excitement from investors.