Policy Issues

Feds Get Flexible with NCLB

The White House has provided a framework for how states could be relieved of some of the onerous federal restrictions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2001 revamp of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

National Center Looks To Advance Education Technology

The United States Department of Education and the White House formally kicked off a new national center Friday whose aim is to identify, test, and help bring to market promising education technologies. The National Science Foundation was also on hand to announce first-round funding in a separate but complementary program designed to support the development of new learning technologies.

7 Members Named to National Assessment Governing Board

Seven members have been named to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), the organization that oversees and sets policies for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Google+ May Open Social Networking for Some K-12 Schools

Thanks to granular privacy controls and a unique interface for controlled sharing, schools that have previously banned social networks are looking at Google+ as a viable alternative.

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.