NEPC issues ‘red flag warning’ on personalized learning initiatives

So-called “personalized learning” programs are proliferating in schools across the United States despite “many red flags” as to their effectiveness and the motivations behind them, according to a new report from the National Education Policy Center. The NEPC says these “personalized learning” initiatives are “fueled by philanthropic dollars, tech industry lobbying, marketing by third-party vendors, and a policy environment that provides little guidance and few constraints.”

Read More...

Despite serious problems and a lack of research support, virtual schools continue to spread

Lawmakers throughout the nation continue to support the spread of virtual schools despite the fact that research reveals overwhelming evidence of poor performance, according to a new review by the National Education Policy Center. Given the evidence, the review recommends that policymakers slow or stop the growth in the number of virtual and blended schools and the size of their enrollments until the reasons for their relatively poor performance have been identified and addressed.

Read More...

Diane Ravitch exposes the 5 top risks from the misuse of technology in schools

Education expert Diane Ravitch is not against constructive use of technology in schools but she recognizes that industry has a powerful profit interest in encouraging schools to overuse and misuse technology in schools. “The greatest fear of parents and teachers is that the tech industry wants to replace teachers with computers,” she writes in a column published by EdSurge. “They fear that the business leaders want to cut costs by replacing expensive humans with inexpensive machines, that never require health care or a pension. They believe that education requires human interaction. They prefer experience, wisdom, judgment, sensibility, sensitivity and compassion in the classroom to the cold, static excellence of a machine. I agree with them.”

Read More...

New tax break for big-box stores could drain more money from public schools

An article published in Education Week examines how big-box stores are using “dark store theory” to reduce their property tax payments, and how that is threatening to drain more resources from our public schools. The trend – in which companies claim their stores should be assessed as if they were vacant – has become pronounced in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. The article cites the example of the impact of a Menards lawsuit on the Howard-Suamico School District north of Green Bay.

Read More...

ALEC conference continues group’s focus on undermining public schools, Rep. Chris Taylor says

State Representative Chris Taylor, a Democrat from Madison, just got back from another American Legislative Exchange Council conference, and concluded: “The issue of the moment for ALEC is public education — that is, undermining it.” … “For ALEC, it is all about tearing down our public-school infrastructure so corporate privatization efforts can move in and make a buck,” she writes in a column published by The Progressive.

Read More...