Tag Archives: whole child approach

What is the Indiana voucher program?

26 Aug

School choice” which means according to the Education Breakthrough Network:

School Choice…What is it?

Well, not to be overly simplistic,  SCHOOL CHOICE is the act of choosing a school that meets the needs of your child.

Traditionally, families have been assigned to schools based on where they live. In fact, families with sufficient resources choose the neighborhoods they live in, in order to be assigned to a good school. That is actually a pretty active choice.

But school choice means actively choosing a school versus being assigned to one. And it doesn’t matter what kind of choice that is, they can include private schools, public charter schools, online schools, home schools, special needs schools or even preschools.

School choice advocates believe in the rights of parents to choose a school that meets their child’s needs, and in the rights of teachers and all educators to create, manage, and/or choose to be employed in those schools.

The Education Breakthrough Network exists to explain and advance effective school choice…from its simplest definition here to our very detailed database here.

Find out more about us.

Learn more about School Choice and how it is defined by the daily activities of those that do it! Read how these organizations support and define School Choice:

The Foundation For Educational Choice
The Center for Education Reform
The Heritage Foundation
The Alliance for School Choice

http://www.edbreakthrough.org/SCinfo.php

School Choice” ignites passions. People really go ballistic when vouchers are discussed. Moi wrote about vouchers in Given school choice, many students thrive https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/given-school-choice-many-students-thrive/

Moi thinks the Indiana experience will be useful and will provide useful information about what works in education. Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education:

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.

  2. Society should support and foster strong families.

  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.

  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/ The Indiana voucher program is an attempt to give parents the tools to meet the needs of their child.

Mary McConnell of the Deseret News has posted a series of articles about education reform in Indiana. Her latest article is Indiana education voucher experiment: year two begins:

Since a big share of the voucher money is going to religious schools that don’t make a profit, this invocation of “private enterprise” is a little misleading. But I still find it curious that “private enterprise” is viewed as a pejorative. Private enterprise, after all, has brought us stunningly better and often less expensive products, and proved much more responsive to consumer demand.

Ah, consumer demand. That’s what really intrigues me about the article. Schools – public schools AND private schools hoping to attract voucher students – find that they need to reach out to their consumers, parents, and make a case that they’re providing an excellent education for their children.

Maybe TV ads and billboards will do the trick; as a parent and a teacher who has taught in Catholic schools that need to persuade parents of their value, I would bet on stronger results, better discipline, and a school culture that welcomes and fosters parent involvement. Can public schools offer that? Absolutely. Will it hurt for them to have to prove it to parents? Voucher opponents will say yes, but I’m betting that the biggest beneficiaries of competition will turn out to be public schools.

This posting could get very, very long, so let me instead direct readers to some interesting recent articles.

A Harvard study of New York City’s private voucher program – published this past Thursday – indicates that vouchers significantly improved the odds that African American students would attend college. This is an especially valuable study because it included a scientific control group (students who applied for but did not receive the vouchers, thereby holding constant for “involved parents”) and employed long-term data (1997-2011). Here’s a Wall Street Journal op-ed reporting the data:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444184704577585582150808386.html?mod=djemITP_h

And here’s a link to the study itself:

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Impacts_of_School_Vouchers_FINAL.pdf

The American Enterprise Institute published a short piece responding to the AP article; it makes the argument for competition.

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/08/schools-respond-to-competition/

Here’s an article from last week’s Economist – which if anything proves that Indiana’s experiment is world news:

http://www.economist.com/node/21560570

And finally, a useful warning note for voucher supporters. Many private schools in Indiana saw their test scores drop as they admitted voucher students. No huge surprise – if anything, it suggests that the private schools were, in fact, achieving higher educational standards (and probably educating a different demographic, as well.)

http://www.fortwayne.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120723/NEWS/320111062/1039/EDUCATION

Utah voters decided that the state should not take this path, at least for now. But it will be interesting to see what happens in Indiana . . . and Louisiana. More on Louisiana next week.   http://educatingourselves.blogs.deseretnews.com/2012/08/25/indiana-education-voucher-experiment-year-two-begins/

Here is information from the Indiana Department of Education:

Choice Scholarships

Indiana is committed to providing all children access to quality educational opportunities, no matter where they live or how much money is in the family bank account. House Enrolled Act 1003 will play a key role in helping the Hoosier state accomplish this goal.Indiana’s new voucher program (authorized under IC 20-51-1 and IC 20-51-4) gives Hoosier families the opportunity to send their children to a school that best meets their learning needs. A voucher, or “Choice Scholarship,” is a state payment that qualifying families can use to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students qualify based on total household income and the amount of the scholarship corresponds with the public school corporation in which the student lives.This exciting new program is up and running for the 2011-2012 school year. Schools and parents will work together to submit applications and enroll students. Participating schools and parents should explore the boxes below for more information.

Interested Parents General Info
How To Apply Estimated Scholarship Amounts
FAQ for Parents Household Income Limits
Preguntas Frequentes Padres Income Verification Rules
Approved Choice Schools Indiana School Scholarship Tax Credit
Interested Schools
Getting Started Application to Become an Eligible School
FAQ for Schools Program Deadlines
School Implementation
Data Reporting Data Layout for Choice Scholarship Input
Income Verification Visual Assessment Information
Reading Plan Emergency Rule
Recognized National and Regional Accreditation Agencies Student Record

Deduction for Private & Homeschool

Deduction Form

http://www.doe.in.gov/improvement/school-choice/choice-scholarships

Schools must be relentless about the basics for their population of kids.   

What does it Mean to Be Relentless About the Basics:      

  1. Students acquire strong subject matter skills in reading, writing, and math.
  2. Students are assessed often to gauge where they are in acquiring basic skills.
  3. If there are deficiencies in acquiring skills, schools intervene as soon as a deficiency assessment is made.
  4. Schools intervene early in life challenges faced by students which prevent them from attending school and performing in school.
  5. Appropriate corrective assistance is provided by the school to overcome both academic and life challenges.   

The Indiana voucher program is a tool which allows parents the choice of what is best for their child.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

KIPP charters try ‘blended learning’

15 Aug

n The ‘whole child’ approach to education moi said:

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.

  2. Society should support and foster strong families.

  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.

  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Julia Lawrence reports in the Education Week article, KIPP’s Latest LA School Experiments With Blended Learning:

Although the idea that online education could be viable for children as young as elementary-school age could appear obscene to some parents, for children who are surrounded by computers and gadgets like smartphones and tablets, keeping a school a computer-free zone would seem crazy. You can’t expect a children to take school seriously when their school experience is completely divorced from their everyday life….

Still, even that kind of instructional paradigm leaves a lot of room for useful applications of technology. One of the approaches gaining popularity, and that makes good use of the traditional classroom setting, is the idea of blended learning. Although some teaching is still done in the classroom — with desks, a blackboard and a teacher playing a traditional role — the “heavy lifting” is done with online tools.

KIPP, one of the most successful chains of charter schools in the country, is currently trying just this approach. The KIPP schools credit most of their success to lavishing individualized attention on all its students and by keeping their student-teacher ratios low. In most KIPP schools, class sizes are set at no higher than 20 students.

But the typical approach hit a snag. When severe fiscal constraints forced the Los Angeles Unified School District to rejigger its charter school funding formulas, the latest KIPP charter to be opened in South Los Angeles had its budget slashed by nearly $200,000. The traditional approach of small classrooms and plenty of teachers was no longer an option, so the school decided to attempt something different. http://www.educationnews.orgKIPP’s Latest LA School Experiments With Blended Learning

The “blended learning’ approach has been around several years.

Penn State University describes “blended learning” in What is Blended Learning?

What is Blended?

A blended learning approach combines face to face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities to form an integrated instructional approach. In the past, digital materials have served in a supplementary role, helping to support face to face instruction.

For example, a blended approach to a traditional, face to face course might mean that the class meets once per week instead of the usual three-session format. Learning activities that otherwise would have taken place during classroom time can be moved online.

As of now, there is no consensus on a single agree-upon definition for blended learning. The Resources page contains cites to several articles that provide definitions. In addition, the terms “blended,” “hybrid,” and “mixed-mode” are used interchangeably in current research literature. For the purposes of the Blended Learning Initiative at Penn State, the term “blended” is preferred.

Why Blend?

The goal of a blended approach is to join the best aspects of both face to face and online instruction. Classroom time can be used to engage students in advanced interactive experiences.  Meanwhile, the online portion of the course can provide students with multimedia-rich content at any time of day, anywhere the student has internet access, from Penn State computer labs, the coffee shop, or the students’ homes. This allows for an increase in scheduling flexibility for students.

In addition to flexibility and convenience for students, according to research shared at the ALN Conference Workshop on Blended Learning & Higher Education November 17, 2005, there is early evidence that a blended instructional approach can result in learning outcome gains and increased enrollment retention (http://www.uic.edu/depts/oee/blended/workshop/bibliography.pdf).

Blended learning is on the rise in higher education. 93% of higher ed instructors and admin say they are using blended learning strategies somewhere in their institution. 7 in 10 expect more than 40% of their schools’ courses to be blended by 2013 (Bonk, C. J. & Graham, C. R. (Eds.). (in press).

How to Blend?

There are no rules in place to prescribe what the ideal blend might be (Bonk reference). The term “blended” encompasses a broad continuum, and can include any integration of face to face and online instructional content. The blend of face to face and online materials will vary depending on the content, the needs of the students, and the preferences of the instructor. See the section of this site titled Instructional Strategies for information on selecting an ideal blend and designing a blended course.

Considerations

Creating high-quality blended instruction can present considerable challenges. Foremost is the need for resources to create the online materials to be used in the courses. Materials development is a time and labor intensive process, just as it is in any instructional medium. In addition, blended instruction is likely to be a new concept to many students and faculty. Instructional designers involved in course development or redesign will need to be able to answer questions related to:

  • what blended instruction is
  • why blended instruction  is employed 
  • how best to leverage the advantages of a blended approach 

http://weblearning.psu.edu/blended-learning-initiative/what_is_blended_learning

John Watson studied several “blended learning’ programs for the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL).

In Blended Learning: The Convergence of Online and Face-to-Face Education, Watson writes:

What are the key lessons that these and other blended programs demonstrate?

First, there is no single type of blended education, and over time we can expect all the spaces along the continuum from fully online to fully face-to-face to be filled. Online curricula will evolve as a ubiquitous component of classroom instruction. At the same time, an increasing number of programs that are primarily distance-based may include a face-to-face teaching component.

Programs designed to use a blended approach from the outset are still in a learning mode, and experience and data will provide guidelines, but absolutes will be hard to find. “As blended learning evolves it needs to stay student focused and avoid artificial, mandated boundaries,” says Susan Stagner, Vice-President, Management and Services, for K12 Inc.

Second, in the same way that online teaching is recognized as different than face-to-face teaching, blended learning is also unique and requires new methods of instruction, content development, and professional development. Online program leaders know that they cannot simply use face-to-face teaching methods in an online class, and vice versa. In addition, as content delivery becomes increasingly digital and online, assessments will need to be designed to test for content presented in various formats.

Third, for school districts and programs that use both fully online and blended courses, content will need to be readily accessible as learning objects to support both types of instruction. Text-based content will be less effective than animation, video, simulations and other engaging and illustrative content that can convey concepts visually and dynamically, more effectively than either paper or an instructor drawing on the blackboard. Teachers will need to be able to access online content quickly and easily to keep the flow of the classroom instruction moving.

Fourth, because blended learning relies on a significant level of web-based communication and content, it relies on a course management system or a learning management system to organize the content and facilitate communication. The presence of software that organizes the course may, in fact, be a distinguishing characteristic between a truly blended course and a face-to-face course that simply incorporates a few digital elements.

Finally, because blended learning can vary in many ways, it may present challenges for research and policy. Because it does not make sense to attempt to fit education into pre-set conceptions based on old methods of teaching and learning, state education policies should allow innovation in directions that may not be foreseeable at this time. In addition, research efforts aimed at quantifying the effects of educational technologies should account for the myriad types of learning that combine online and face-to-face delivery. http://www.inacol.org/research/promisingpractices/NACOL_PP-BlendedLearning-lr.pdf

The question which must be addressed in whether “blended learning’ is appropriate for a particular learning situation.

Resources:

The rise of K-12 blended learning            http://www.innosightinstitute.org/media-room/publications/education-publications/the-rise-of-k-12-blended-learning/

Blended Learning Tool Kit                                            http://blended.online.ucf.edu/

7 Reasons Why Blended Learning Makes Sense http://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/7-reasons-why-blended-learning-makes-sense/

Blended Learning, Real Teaching – YouTube

6 Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Education                                              http://edudemic.com/2012/05/6-pros-and-cons-of-a-hybrid-education/

Related:

Flipped classrooms are more difficult in poorer schools https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/flipped-classrooms-are-more-difficult-in-poorer-schools/

The digital divide in classrooms                          https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

The ‘whole child’ approach to education

10 Feb

Moi writes this blog around a set of principles which are:

All children have a right to a good basic education.

  1. Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved.
  2. Society should support and foster strong families.
  3. Society should promote the idea that parents are responsible for parenting their children and people who are not prepared to accept that responsibility should not be parenting children.
  4. The sexualization of the culture has had devastating effects on children, particularly young women. For many there has been the lure of the “booty call” rather than focusing on genuine achievement.

    Education is a life long pursuit

Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process.

The National Education Association (NEA) describes the “whole child” approach to learning in the paper, Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child:

Meeting the needs of the whole child requires:

Addressing multiple dimensions, including students’ physical, social and emotional health and well-being.

Ensuring equity, adequacy and sustainability in resources and quality among public schools and districts.

Ensuring that students are actively engaged in a wide variety of experiences and settings within—and outside—the classroom.

Providing students with mentors and counselors as necessary to make them feel safe and secure.

Ensuring that the condition of schools is modern and up-to-date, and that schools provide access to a broad array of resources.

Reducing class size so that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Encouraging parental and community involvement. http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/WholeChildBackgrounder.pdf

ASCD, (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) along with the NEA is leading in the adoption of the “whole child” approach.

 

Sean Slade, director of Healthy School Communities, a program of the ASCD, an education leadership organization wrote the Washington Post article, Taking a stand for ‘the whole child’ approach to school reform.

A whole child approach to education enhances learning by addressing each student’s social, emotional, physical, and academic needs through the shared contributions of schools, families, communities, and policymakers. It is a move away from education policy that far too narrowly focuses on student standardized test scores as the key school accountability measure and that has resulted in the narrowing of curriculum as well as rigid teaching and learning environments.

The true measure of student success is much more than a test score, and ensuring that young people achieve in and out of school requires support well beyond effective academic instruction. The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare our nation’s youth for college, career, and citizenship.

Our last two Vision in Action Award Winners, Price Laboratory School (PLS) in Iowa and Quest Early College High School in Texas, exemplify what we mean. Both of these schools work to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged, whether it is through foundation of daily physical education for all grades K-12; or the weekly health programs promoting empowerment, fresh and organic foods, as is the case at Price Lab; or yearlong personal wellness plans, and a focus on social/emotional as well as physical health at Quest

Lessons and projects extend outside the classroom walls and into the local community. They are adapted to engage students and reworked to provide for personal learning styles and interest. Advisory groups – or “families” as they are called at Quest – abound and are a crucial part in making each teacher, student and family feel respected. And in both schools all are expected to achieve and are provided the mechanisms to do so. They don’t just set the bar high. They provide the steps and supports to get over that bar.

Both schools have gone beyond just a vision for educating the whole child to actions that result in learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.

But this ideal should not be found only in the the occasional school. It should be found in all schools….

If you think a child’s worth is more than a test score, sign ASCD’s petition to create a President’s Council on the Whole Child.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/taking-a-stand-for-the-whole-child-approach-to-school-reform/2012/02/05/gIQARBcM0Q_blog.html

Many of the schools and neighborhoods facing challenges are where there are pockets of high unemployment and underemployment with high levels of family instability. Children in these neighborhoods face a myriad of challenges which require an more comprehensive approach to education. See, Christina Silva’s Huffington Post article, 1 in 5 U.S. Children Lives in Poverty

ASCD is promoting the Whole Child Initiative:

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on www.wholechildeducation.org, and together we’ll change the face of education policy and practice. Find sets of indicators related to each tenet below. Taken together across all five tenets and the central necessities of collaboration, coordination, and integration, these indicators may serve as a needs assessment, set of strategic goals and outcomes, framework for decision making, or the definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download the indicators (PDF).

Whole Child Tenets

  • Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
  • Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
  • Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
  • Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
  • Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

http://www.ascd.org/whole-child.aspx

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©