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Finding the Sweet Spot Between Defeatism and Utopianism When Setting School Standards

Education Next – Michael J. Petrilli

“I do support the Common Core, which is designed to get students to “college and career readiness” by the end of high school. But I also see that goal as aspirational; I don’t believe we should actually deny diplomas to young people who gain basic skills and pass their classes but don’t reach that lofty level. Nor do I think that we should force all students to take a college-prep course of study all the way through twelfth grade. How do I square this circle? Am I hypocrite for claiming to support high expectations while not being willing to enforce those expectations when it comes to crunch time?” (more)

Scaling Up Personalized Education

Forbes – Peter Greene

“Creating a personalized education program presents many challenges. It presents even more challenges if you want your delivery system to be a computer. And it presents even huger problems if you intend to scale it up. The dream for many education reformers is not just to come up with a new system, but to manufacture a new system that can scale up and reach a broad market. Personalizing education for a single student requires a great deal of work and it can be hugely beneficial for that student– but it’s not very profitable.” (more)

A blanket ban on cellphones in class would not be smart

The Toronto Star – Staff Writer

“France is going in a similar direction. When millions of French elementary and middle-school students returned to class this week, they were forbidden from using their phones in the classroom or even during breaks. The government of Emmanuel Macron ordered a phone “detox” for all pupils under the age of 15. These are simplistic solutions to a complex problem. The problems presented by addictive cellphone use are clear, but it’s impossible and unwise to ban such technology entirely from schools.” (more)

How to find the right tutor for your kid so homework doesn’t ruin your relationship

The Toronto Star – Brandie Weikle

“Vanessa Vakharia, founder of the The Math Guru, a math and science tutoring facility on Toronto’s Yonge St., says the parents she hears from report younger and younger kids declaring that they hate math — even, sadly, some in kindergarten. “Our bread and butter used to be high school students and now we’ve got so many younger kids,” says Vakharia. At a time when anxiety about school work is already on the rise, the political drama around Ontario curriculum hasn’t helped, she says. “Now parents are, even more so than they were before, really going to be looking for tutors who can make sense of what’s going on and give kids what they need.” Her approach is to match student with a tutor who not only suits their learning style, but helps them picture themselves as the kind of person who can excel in math and science.” (more)

K12 leaders: Hand over the reins

District Administration – Jennifer Herseim

“The current education system, which places much of the control of learning with the school system, not the learner, will underprepare students for that future, Ziegenfuss says. “The world is changing through technology,” he says. “We’re going to have to make more choices on our own. Learner-centered education is built on that—starting with the learner and having them decide what path they want to take.” Ziegenfuss is a featured presenter for the Future of Education Technology Conference, to be held January 27-30, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. He shares three tips on how leaders can shift mindsets—and more agency—to learners.” (more)