The North Carolina School Connectivity Initiative

Executive Summary In 2006, Education Week gave North Carolina a “D” on its report card for Internet access. The problem was not a lack of world-class Internet resources. North Carolina had a flagship network, the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), which provided fiber-optic infrastructure to many of the state’s higher education institutions. But […]


Florida Virtual School

Executive Summary In the fall of 1997, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) awarded two Florida school districts, Orange and Alachua, a $200,000 “Break the Mold” grant to co-develop an online high school to serve students throughout Florida. The districts assembled a team, which adopted a new mindset and asked, “If we didn’t have to […]


Definitions of Blended-Learning Models

1. Rotation model – a program in which within a given course or subject (e.g., math), students rotate on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning. Other modalities might include activities such as small-group or full-class instruction, group projects, individual tutoring, and pencil-and-paper […]


Gates Foundation steps up with investments in next-generation learning Posted on June 20th, 2012 by Michael B. Horn

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation put two stakes in the ground yesterday in support of next-generation digital learning: one in the postsecondary school space and another in secondary schools. Looking to boost the numbers of students attaining a high-quality and affordable postsecondary credential, the Foundation announced $9 million worth of grants to support innovators […]


Warning signs for personalized learning

When Julie Young founded the Florida Virtual School in 1997, her team coined the slogan “any time, any place, any path, any pace” to describe how the school’s online courses liberate students from traditional classroom constraints. That phrase has become the mantra for people who are trying to articulate how K-12 schools need to change […]


The wisdom, risks, and foolishness of Race to the Top

With the Department of Education’s release of its latest Race to the Top competition—this one focused on school districts instead of states—there has been a slew of pieces about whether these types of competitions are good ideas and around what the federal government does well and poorly in education. Given the overriding focus in this […]


Wichita Public Schools’ Learning Centers

Executive Summary In the fall of 1999, Wichita Public Schools launched a dropout-recovery and credit-recovery program, called the Learning Centers, in response to the district’s low graduation rate. The program used a disruptive innovation—computer-based learning—to enable high school dropouts of all ages to work toward earning high school diplomas and current high school students to […]


Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Virtual Learning Posted on May 26th, 2011 by Blended Learning

Operator overview Operator name Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Operator type District Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee Focus General Grades served PreK-12 % FRL 72% % Black or Hispanic 63% Revenue per pupil $8,180 Blended-learning program Blended grades 7-12 Enrollment ~500 Blended subjects Comprehensive Content Pearson, Aventa Learning SIS Pearson’s Chancery SMS Independent LMS Blackboard Independent gradebook Gradespeed […]