Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Michael Horn: What Policies Hinder Innovation in K12?

Michael Horn of the Innosight Institute is asking people with experience in public education to write to him and provide examples of policies that hinder education’s innovation. He wants to help the Department of Education, which has ramped up efforts recently to bring a more iterative process to education improvements.

He has a post on his blog today that points out that one of the biggest hurdles today is the seat time-based Carnegie system.

From the Innosight blog:

One key question, for example, is how to decouple today’s system from the weight of its seat-time legacy and move it to a competency-based system. This would be a huge step forward into escaping the prisoners of time dilemma, but nearly 20 years since the authoring of the report by that very name, the escape remains elusive.

Here is where all of us come in and where we can help the Department.

The existing rules and regulations that block some of these steps forward is not always so obvious. Oftentimes, rules in place around accountability, for example, are interpreted at the state level as being locked in time, when federal statute is in fact agnostic. The Department has limited visibility into how its regulations may affect real actions on the ground—if mere guidance from a third-party is needed to explain to states that they may do something they thought they could not, or if there needs to be real regulatory change.

To those who work in schools and districts and in other areas of the K-12 education system, send me a note or post a comment here or via Twitter on what regulations create difficulty in innovating toward a student-centric system that allows each child to realize her human potential. And get specific.



Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Work, , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Dan McGuire says:

    I’m not quite clear on your question. Are you looking for minor details to revamp an entire system? I can appreciate an attempt to get a foothold on the monumental challenge ahead, but I don’t think picking around the edges to find a rule or reg that needs changing will change a whole system. Tweaking a faulty system could just further entrench that system.

    How about tossing standardized testing and going with ePortfolios? Then,if somewhat wants to act smart and make a comment about student learning, they’ll actually need to assess student learning. Of course, that means doing it one student at a time, like teachers have been doing for centuries. ePortfolios will enhance that process, but it’s still a very time intensive process.

    • Maria Mangos says:

      Dan, I agree. ePortfolios are the way to go, do away with standardized testing plus do away with reports. Include self-assessment, peer assessment and teacher assessment in the portfolio. The ePortfolio becomes a life long anecdote of a student’s experiences and useful tool to have when putting together a curriculum vitae. Yes, time consuming but the students will do most of the work and will be process orientated, not product.

  2. Thanks for your post. I have a fair few ideas to share. Is there a forum?
    I feel that we can start by eliminating jargon that alienates the concept and make education relevant and open to the real world and real people. Human resources are important and without these you have nothing. The best resourced schools are empty without the right people. Furthermore public education tends to shut out the public – that is, external valuable human resources and keep those who have grown up with the system. Education is a complex issue because we make it so.

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