Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Tom Vander Ark’s Blended Learning Glide Path

Educators and education consultants must have a few questions after a New York Times article about charter school projects that Tom Vander Ark sought to set up in 2010.

The article points out that Vander Ark spent $1.5million on “lawyers and consultants” but failed to open three blended learning schools in Brooklyn and Newark, New Jersey.  Vander Ark pinned the flop on the bad economy and other factors, but claimed that his staff members and colleagues were making “ridiculous” claims that there was no “there” there.

After the jump, a couple of quotations and a link to the article.

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Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , ,

Will Netflix Philanthropy Trump Zuckerberg Newark Deal? #NSVSummit Tweets

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

During the NewSchools Venture Summit in San Francisco Wednesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced he would pledge enough money for eight Rocketship charter schools in Washington, DC. All DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has to do is find buildings, and according to the tweets at the summit, she said she certainly could.

As an aside, it’s interesting that the story from the #NSVFSummit that Fortune magazine chose to write about was that Zuckerberg thinks 13 year olds should be able to use the Facebook system.  Interestingly, the point Zuckerberg is making is that because 13 year olds can’t really use the system transparently, there is no way for Facebook staffers to learn how they might use the system for education. Until then, they are a bit lost.

So, perhaps Zuckerberg should take his nose out of the Facebook and start focusing on bricks & mortar, and donations to causes that create real action?

The Hastings pledge seems to trump the pledge of $100 million for Newark education, not in monetary terms,  but certainly in mission-oriented actions. This is a very specific and goal-oriented pledge of real dollars to real things.  If Henderson can supply the buildings, John Danner will apparently come along and syndicate the Rocketship model in eight schools that Hastings will fund. Open. Credible. Seemingly instantaneous.

Who will be the next philanthropist CEO to donate the cash? Jeff Bezos of Amazon?

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The Future Schools

An interesting blog post up at Education Next today.

Jonathan Schorr and Deborah McGriff give a review of some of the great blended school models put in place across the country.

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