Education Publications

White Papers & Policy Briefs
The rise of K-12 blended learning
By Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker
Online learning is sweeping across America, and it’s no longer only a distance-learning phenomenon. Most of the growth is in blended-learning environments, which are defined and chronicled in this report. As blended-learning grows, it has the potential to transform America’s education system into one that offers more personalized learning approaches for all students.

Rethinking student motivation: Why understanding the ‘job’ is crucial for improving education
By Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson
What job might students hire schools to do? This white paper, an excerpt from the 2nd edition of Disrupting Class, seeks to understand this crucial question and unearths some surprising conclusions on the road to better motivating students to learn.

Virtual Schooling: Disrupting the Status Quo
By Michael B. Horn
Ever since the creation of the Florida Virtual School in 1997, Florida has been among the nation’s leaders in the fast-growing online learning movement. This policy brief discusses how to use online learning, a disruptive innovation, to transform the education system into a more student-centric one.The factory-oriented approach for creating employees trained to increase the productivity and help in industrial development has met its deadline. Competition has become more individualized and only when an individual excels, the outcome of his work can result in the growth of the unit concerned. The condition is same in all fields, only when the programmer is able to out his mind and logic into the software design, success stories like Bitcoin Code come into existence.

Case Studies
Apex Learning: A survey of online-learning programs in three districts
By Katherine Mackey
This study examines the various ways that three districts–Auburn School District in Auburn, Wash., Volusia County Schools in Volusia County, Fla., and Wichita Public Schools in Wichita, Kan.–are using Apex Learning in their online learning programs to help students who were not being served well by the traditional school system, or who, in many cases, had already left the system.

The North Carolina School Connectivity Initiative: A public-private approach to improving school data networks
By Kerry Herman and Heather Staker
Faced with rural schools and unreliable Internet access, the North Carolina Connectivity Initiative upgraded the state’s K-12 data network in only three years. This case study describes how North Carolina used E-Rate funds and existing networks to improve connectivity statewide.

Wichita Public Schools’ Learning Centers: Creating a new educational model to serve dropouts and at-risk students
By Katherine Mackey
In the fall of 1999, Wichita Public Schools launched a computer-based learning program to help dropouts and at-risk students earn high school diplomas. This case study details the history of the program and the steps to set it up.

VOISE Academy: Pioneering a blended-learning model in a Chicago public high school
By James Sloan and Katherine Mackey
In the fall of 2008, Chicago Public Schools opened a new high school in a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden neighborhood that blended a traditional brick-and-mortar school environment with something much less familiar–a fully online curriculum. This case study details the policies and decisions involved in launching and operating a hybrid school.

Florida Virtual School: Building the first statewide, Internet-based public high school
By Katherine Mackey and Michael B. Horn
From its beginnings with a small $200,000 grant in 1997, the Florida Virtual School has grown to serve over 70,000 students a year. This case study details the policies and decisions that led to this disruptive growth.

Alpine Online School: A Utah school district’s move into K-8 online education, August 2009
By Leland Anderson and Michael B. Horn
In the winter of the 2005-06 school year, Alpine School District decided to form an online K-8 school to support home-schooled students in the district. This case details that decision and the process of launching an online school.


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