iNACOL Policy Update – Buzzer Beaters and Bracket Busters

March 26, 2015 by

March 19 – March 26 ,2015
By Maria Worthen (mworthen@inacol.org) and Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org).

As March Madness draws to a close, the states are also racing against the clock as many will be adjourning within the next two months. Two months is plenty of time in basketball, but not so much in the legislative process. As always, we will continue to track these bills and keep you updated every week on important movements or changes.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning, and competency education – to highlight recent trends, enablers, identify barriers and provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial, and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

iNACOL is currently tracking 78 bills in 28 states.  (more…)

15 Bills to Put on Your Radar | iNACOL Policy Update

March 20, 2015 by

with Dale Frost

The introduction of new legislation continues to slow down significantly, but action in legislative committees and within entire chambers continues to ramp up as they hold hearings and votes on bills.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning, and competency education – to highlight recent trends, enablers, identify barriers and provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial, and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

  • iNACOL is currently tracking 83 bills in 28 states

Legislative Calendars and Deadlines

  • Utah adjourned its 2015 legislative session on March 12, 2015.
  • West Virginia adjourned its 2015 legislative session on March 15, 2015. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced an extended session immediately following adjournment but to only consider the state budget.
  • New Mexico is expected to adjourn its session on March 21, 2015. (more…)

Supporting personalized, competency-based learning for Ohio students

March 19, 2015 by

 

Testimony of iNACOL President and CEO Susan Patrick as prepared for delivery on March 18, 2015 to the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education regarding competency-based education:

Chairman Cupp and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak in support of the competency-based education pilot program found in H.B. 64.

iNACOL is a non-profit organization with the mission to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and leads the CompetencyWorks initiative.

The competency-based education pilot is an important step for Ohio districts and schools to begin this transition towards providing personalized, competency-based learning to Ohio students.

The iNACOL/CCSSO definition of competency education has five elements:

  • Students advance upon mastery;
  • Competencies include explicit, learning objectives that empower students;
  • Assessment is meaningful and a positive learning experience for students;
  • Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual needs; and
  • Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, and the development of important skills and dispositions.

Thank you for including these elements.

Competency education is rooted in the notion that education is about mastering a set of skills and knowledge, not just moving through a grade level with varying gaps in knowledge. (more…)

The FCC Extends E-Rate Application Deadline

March 13, 2015 by

Written by Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org).

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended a deadline for schools and libraries to apply for discounted broadband and wireless connectivity through the E-Rate program.

Last December, the FCC completed a long-awaited modernization of E-Rate, so the program can meet the demand for connectivity and adequate bandwidth as schools transition to student-centered digital learning. Among other changes, the modernization process also streamlined the application process, set aside funds for internal wireless connectivity, revised the eligible services list, and made it easier for consortia to apply.

iNACOL submitted comment to the FCC supporting this modernization process with data and feedback from our members on the clear need in the field for improvements to the program. However, last month, we heard from some of our members that they need more time and assistance to complete the application. (more…)

iNACOL Policy Update – March Madness: Amendments become game-changers

March 12, 2015 by

March 6 – March 13 ,2015
By Maria Worthen (mworthen@inacol.org) and Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org)

The amount of newly introduced legislation has slowed down this week. Some states are still filing bills, but most of the action is now coming from legislative committees. Amendments will begin to play a larger role at this point in the process; we will be watching for them closely.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning, and competency education – to highlight recent trends and enablers, and to identify barriers and provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial, and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

iNACOL is currently tracking 78 bills in 28 states. (more…)

iNACOL Policy Update – Enabling Policies to Transform K-12 Education

March 6, 2015 by

Written by Maria Worthen (mworthen@inacol.org) and Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org).
February 27 – March 5, 2015

March is a busy month in state legislatures—some are adjourning, some are convening, some have committee deadlines, and others are simply in a flurry of legislation. As always, we are here to keep you updated on the comings and goings of important legislation and will keep you informed on the actions of these important bills.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning, and competency education – to highlight recent trends and enablers, to identify barriers and to provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial, and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

iNACOL is currently tracking 71 bills in 27 states. (more…)

iNACOL Legislative Update – Enabling Policies to Transform K-12 Education

February 27, 2015 by

Written By Maria Worthen (mworthen@inacol.org) and Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org).
February 20-27, 2015

As we write this, the US House of Representatives is debating an ESEA reauthorization bill, with a vote expected by the end of the day. In the states, 45 legislatures are now in session. March is generally a very busy month because states are still filing legislation but there is also a good amount of movement in committees and in chambers. As always, we will be sure to keep you updated on these important bills.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning, and competency education – to highlight recent trends, enablers, identify barriers and provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial, and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

  • Two bills have been introduced, one in Minnesota and the other in Oregon, to encourage teacher preparation programs to create competency-based pathways for teacher certification.
  • A bill in Minnesota would provide an appropriation to increase online college course offerings for K-12 students. Another bill in Minnesota would establish the “digital student achievement backpack” to allow for the secured use of student data.
  • A bill in Texas creates an allotment for school districts to purchase technological equipment that contributes to student learning. (more…)

iNACOL Legislative Update – Enabling Policies to Transform K-12 Education

February 24, 2015 by

Written By Maria Worthen (mworthen@inacol.org) and Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org).
February 13-19, 2015

There is still a significant amount of legislation being introduced this session. Some states have already reached, or will reach committee deadlines soon. This means that bills that do not pass out of committee by a certain date will no longer be eligible for consideration. Mississippi has already passed its date, and Iowa’s committee deadline will be coming up within the next couple of weeks. We will continue to keep you updated on the status of bills that are of interest to the field.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning, and competency education – to highlight recent trends, enablers, identify barriers and provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial, and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

  • A bill in Arkansas would allow a district to petition the State Board of Education to waive the same regulations as they would for charter schools.
  •  A bill we’ve been following in Iowa to extend the virtual academy pilot was amended and passed the House of Representatives. The amendment would allow students with disabilities to open enroll into one of the virtual academies, even if their attendance would exceed an online school’s enrollment cap.
  • A bill in Idaho would provide approved professional-technical online courses to any Idaho school district.

(more…)

iNACOL Policy Update – Enabling Policies to Transform K-12 Education

February 13, 2015 by

Written by Maria Worthen (mworthen@inacol.org) and Susan Gentz (sgentz@inacol.org).
February 5-12, 2015

The month of February is almost halfway over, but the bills are still being introduced at a steady pace. The federal government and the states continue to discuss education issues, and we will continue to keep you updated.

The purpose of this blog is to share policy developments in the field of K-12 online learning, blended learning and competency education – to highlight recent trends and enablers, and to identify barriers and provide an issues update. It includes a snapshot of important education policies, regulations, gubernatorial and legislative affairs.

A summary is below; a more detailed version with additional legislative information is available in the members-only iNACOL Member Forums. We track policy priorities and issues related to the field’s needs as outlined annually in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks. This report provides background information and recommendations for issues on the critical policy shifts needed to transform K-12 education.

State Policy Highlights

  • A bill in Arizona would create the Course Success Accounts Program which provides supplemental education savings accounts that can be used for online courses.
  • In Maine, a bill would require the state to provide full funding of public charter schools, including virtual schools.
  • Another bill in Maine would require development of an essential programs and services funding model for virtual public charter school educational services different from the current model.

(more…)

Statement on House ESEA Markup and Recommendations for Essential Elements

February 11, 2015 by

As the reauthorization process continues for a next generation Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we urge Members of Congress in both the House and Senate to continue to work together on collaborative solutions to transform K-12 education with personalized, competency-based learning pathways for every student. Passage of the bill out of the committee today is an important first step to a long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

iNACOL’s work with state and district leaders throughout the country has identified essential building blocks for a new law supporting the success and achievement of all U.S. students and schools, including:

  • fixing accountability and developing systems of assessments with validity and reliability that takes into account better analysis of individual student growth and multiple measures of learning, including a pilot to enable innovation and competency-based approaches;
  • rethinking federal policies on educator preparation, credentialing and professional development to prepare educators for personalized, competency-based learning environments;
  • rewarding successful new learning models and scaling them up through competitive funding;
  • focusing on equity and excellence, with annual academic assessments to shine a light on achievement gaps and better align the system around student-centered learning in order to ensure all students are reaching their full potential.

For more, please see iNACOL’s statement on the Senate’s ESEA discussion and our Recommendations to Support Competency Education in Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, developed in partnership with KnowledgeWorks.

 
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