Policy Issues

Beyond Seat Time: Advancing Proficiency-Based Learning

Can we do without the traditional school year? Is it feasible to shift to a system of student advancement based solely on proficiency? In this interview, Susan Patrick, former education technology director at the U.S. Department of Education and current head of the policy group iNacol, shares her vision of what such a system would look like and what it will take to get there. (Hint: It's already underway in some states.)

Closing the Loop in Education Technology

K-12 education isn't using technology effectively and isn't investing nearly enough in IT infrastructure to enable next-generation learning. That's the conclusion of a new report, "Unleashing the Potential of Technology in Education," which called for a greater financial commitment to education technology and the adoption of a holistic, "closed loop" approach to its implementation.

Common Core Toolkit Aligns Standards with 21st Century Skills Framework

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has released a new toolkit designed to help state and district education leaders implement Common Core State Standards within the P21 Framework for 21st Century Skills.

Toward a Competency-Based Learning System

Policy workarounds like "seat-time waivers" won't be enough to replace traditional age-based grade level advancement in K-12 with a competency-based system. Rather, according to a new report released by iNacol, it will take a "comprehensive policy redesign" combined with sound technology practices, professional development, and a broadly accepted, student-centered definition of competency-based learning to make that change a reality.

A Closer Look at Virtual Learning Models

With the recent passage of the Digital Learning Now Actin Florida, which expands virtual education options to parents and students, one trend that finally has the power to truly revolutionize the very fabric of our education system is online learning.

The Virtual School Debate

Are public school districts feeling the heat when it comes to online education? Well, the Clovis Unified School District (CA) realized that, of the 200 to 400 students it was losing each year, only half were dropping out of school, the rest were opting out—and many of them were doing so because they had found that for-profit virtual schools were doing a better job of satisfying their needs. That's one of the issues to be examined in the August issue of T.H.E. Journal.

Education Groups Support Upping Science Standards

Education organizations are rallying behind a report released Tuesday by the National Research Council that provides a foundation for the writing of a common set of expectations for K-12 students in science.

Microsoft Pledges $15 Million for 'Next-Generation Learning Models'

Microsoft and a number of other companies pledged financial support for initiatives supporting student achievement and education reform. The pledges were announced as part of a roundtable event held in Washington, DC Monday with President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and other leaders to promote business support for education initiatives.

AP Program Joins Partnership for 21st Century Skills

The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) has become a national member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), a coalition of industry and education organizations focused on integrating technology into education.

Online Community To Prepare Schools for New Assessments Coming in 2014

In an effort to help ease the transition to new technology-driven assessments planned for nationwide implementation in 2014, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has launched Assess4ed.net, a new online resource and community for state and district education leaders.