Sunday, May 29, 2011

We Can Have Teachers Without Borders Part I

Dumb City Laws in Connecticut

· It is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset

· Only white Christmas lights are allowed for display

· You aren’t allowed to cross a street while walking on your hands

· You may not educate dogs

· It is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday


Tanya McDowell was arraigned in Connecticut for stealing a Norwalk public school kindergarten education for her five-year-old son. She was homeless at the time and used a fraudulent address to enroll her son in Brookside Elementary School. Apparently the education was worth more than $15,000 and its theft is a felony. Tanya was charged with first-degree larceny and if convicted may face up to 20 years in prison.

Earlier in the year, in Ohio, Kelly Williams-Bolar was convicted of felony counts of tampering with records for deception in enrolling two of her children in Copley-Fairlawn schools. She lived outside of the school boundaries, but used her father’s address to enroll her children.

These laws and punitive consequences are unnecessary. School boundaries are meaningless with today’s technology and 21st century education. Yet we hold onto these antiquated laws and borders to maintain the status quo.

Online virtual schools and online social networks are reshaping the way we think of schools.

Leading the way is K12 Inc., a technology-based education company. K12 Inc. is our nation’s largest provider of online education for grades k–12. They offer public education options throughout many parts of the United States. They have an international private school option available anywhere with internet access. Specific online courses can also be purchased to supplement learning for another program or different style of schooling.

Recently, K12 has announced an agreement to acquire the Kaplan Virtual Education (KVE) division of Kaplan Inc.

Kaplan Inc. is best known for test preparation workbooks and other educational resource materials. The company founded Kaplan Virtual Education in 2007 to enter the growing online education market. Recently KVE bought Insight Schools Inc. to increase their assets and market share in the industry. Insight Schools is a leader in online high schools.

Kaplan Virtual Education and Insight Schools Inc. will now belong to K12 Inc. This will be a quick growth spurt of assets and market share for a company with more online options for education across the country than anyone else.

California Virtual Academies (CAVA), the largest online public charter school in the nation, is one of the options powered by K12 Inc. The California Virtual Academies, with more than 11,000 students, offers a free full time k-12 regionally accredited public education for students in California. Just about anywhere in California.

It is a public school. There is a curriculum. The students do have a teacher. They do meet their teacher, and have clubs, and go out on field trips. What they do not have is a brick and mortar school building that defines their school boundaries.

The trend for k-12 education is toward some form of online learning. Physical school boundaries are becoming meaningless.

This is the first in a series exploring the online possibilities of schooling.

Please visit me at Facebook – Carlos Mendoza

Stamford Advocate - Lawmakers raise questions in case of homeless woman enrolling son in Norwalk school

Fox News - Connecticut Mother Pleads Not Guilty in School Enrollment Case – Case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, Akron mom jailed for sending kids to suburban school, stirs emotions

NPR - Ohio Case: The 'Rosa Parks Moment' For Education?

Huffington Post – Kelley Williams-Bolar, Tanya McDowell Cases Raise Fairness Questions

PR Newswire - K12 Inc. announces agreement to purchase k-12 assets of Kaplan Virtual Education

Education Week – K12 Inc. buys Kaplan Virtual Ed

10 San Diego - More Local Students Going To School Online

NBC Bay Area – Virtual Schools Now A Reality

California Virtual Academies

K12 Inc.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Those Who Can – Teach

Ten points representing a platform for education

1. Every child deserves and shall receive an exceptional education with an excellent teacher, every minute of every day of every year.

2. Improving schools is not the function of government. Governments do not improve schools.

3. The governor, state representatives, state senators, and the Michigan Department of Education are not knowledge authorities on education.

4. Education is not political. Education is fundamental.

5. Local communities must control their school systems.

6. The government needs to get out of the education business. Instead, the government needs to act to make an excellent education a fundamental right of every child.

7. Excellent schools require consistent funding. Local schools require options for raising revenues.

8. Research and practice have informed us, and will continue to do so, as to the elements of an excellent education. Technology is one of the quintessential tools in this pursuit. We must use research and practice to inform our work, constantly.

9. Local school districts must work together, with other entities to increase efficiency, decrease redundancy, and improve effectiveness.

10. One size does not fit all—children, families, teachers, schools, communities, people, alligators, onions, fruit trees, fingernails, political parties, transmissions. Schools require different options, depending on their needs.

Rod Rock, Ed.D – Superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools District

Superintendent’s Call To Action

And to what end? For over a decade we have engaged in increased testing with punitive consequences under No Child Left Behind. There is no evidence that the massive outlay in tax dollars and learning time has produced increased learning. SAT scores have not gone up. NAEP scores have remained flat. Remediation rates at community colleges have not gone down. Our students have not improved on international assessments. Rather than acknowledging that testing is not the lever for increased learning, the plan is now to increase the pressure. There will be consequences, but better learning outcomes will not be one of them.

Carol Corbett Burns – Principal of South Side High School in New York

Principal: ‘Kids, it’s you and the teacher against the test’

There are a number of things that I think are broken with the current law that working in a bipartisan way we can have common sense fixes. I think the law is too punitive, too prescriptive, it’s led to a dumbing down of standards, and it’s led to a narrowing of curriculum. We need to fix all of those things. We have to reward success, reward excellence, look at growth and gain, not just absolute test scores. We have to be much more flexible.

Arne Duncan – U.S. Department of Education Secretary

Education secretary: 'No Child Left Behind' has led to a 'dumbing down'

The U.S. Congress has been attaching purse strings, regulations, and mandates to modern public education since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Congress established in 1980 the United States Department of Education to implement policies with the passage of the Department of Educational Organization Act.

The federal government has had plenty of time and has spent plenty of money to show that politicians know how to improve public education. Apparently their programs are not working and they don’t know what they are doing.

The following is a sampling of policies by programs of the U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. Department of Education Policies by program

21st Century Community Learning Centers


Academic Competitiveness/National SMART Grants

Academies for American History and Civics

Adult Education - Basic Grants to States

Adult Education - National Leadership Activities

Advanced Certification or Advanced Credentialing

Advanced Placement Incentive Program Grants

Advanced Placement Test Fee Program

Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Project

Aid for Institutions of Higher Education Impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Alaska Native Education Equity

Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions - Title III Part A Programs

Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Models on College Campuses

America's Career Resources Network

American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities -Title III Part A Programs

American Overseas Research Centers

American Printing House for the Blind

Appalachian Regional Commission Program

Arts in Education

Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program (CCRAA)

Assessment for Accountability - Special Education Research

Assistive Technology

Autism Spectrum Disorders


B.J Stupak Olympic Scholarships

Braille Training

Business and International Education Program


Career Ladder Program

Carol M. White Physical Education Program

Centers for Independent Living

Centers for International Business Education

Charter Schools Program

Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program

Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Demonstration Program

Client Assistance Program (CAP)

Close Up Fellowship Program

College Access Challenge Grant Program

Community Technology Centers

Comprehensive Regional Assistance Centers

Comprehensive School Reform Program

Comprehensive School Reform Quality Initiatives

Cooperative Education Exchange Program

Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities


Demonstration and Training Programs

Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education

Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program -- Title V

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers

Disability and Rehabilitation Research and Related Projects

Distance Education Demonstration Program

District of Columbia School Choice Incentive Program


Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program

Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

Early Reading First


Education Finance, Leadership and Management Research

Education for Homeless Children and Youths — Grants for State and Local Activities

Education Research

Education Research and Development Centers

Educational, Cultural, Apprenticeship, and Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Whaling and Trading Partners in Massachusetts

Educational Opportunity Centers

Educational Resources Information Center

Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Programs

Elementary School Foreign Language Incentive Program

Emergency Management for Higher Education

Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Program

English Language Acquisition State Grants

Enhancing Education through Technology (Ed-Tech) State Program

Erma Byrd Scholarship Program

European Union-United States Atlantis Program

Even Start Discretionary Grant to a Prison that Houses Women and Children

Even Start

Even Start Family Literacy Program Grants for Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations

Excellence in Economic Education Program


Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program

Federal Pell Grant Program

Federal Perkins Loan Program

Federal Real Property Assistance Program

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program

Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program

Field-Initiated Projects

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships Program

Foreign Language Assistance Program (LEAs)

Foreign Language Assistance Program (SEAs)

Foundations for Learning Grants

Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad — Bilateral Projects

Fulbright-Hays — Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

Fulbright-Hays — Group Projects Abroad Program

Full Service Community Schools Program

Fund for the Improvement of Education-Programs of National Significance

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education — Comprehensive Program

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education — Special Focus Competitions


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

Gallaudet University

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need

Grant Competition to Improve Public Knowledge of and Support for Democracy

Grant Competition to Prevent High-Risk Drinking and Violent Behavior among College Students

Grants for Coalitions to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol Abuse at Institutions of Higher Education

Grants for Enhanced Assessment Instruments

Grants for State Assessments

Grants for the Integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems

Grants to Address Youth Violence and Related Issues for Persistently Dangerous Schools

Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse

Grants to States for Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders

Grants to States to Improve Management of Drug and Violence Prevention Programs


Helen Keller National Center Program

High-Quality Supplemental Educational Services and After-School Partnerships Demonstration

High School Equivalency Program

Higher Education Disaster Relief

Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program (CCRAA)

Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program (CCRAA)

Homeless Education Disaster Assistance

Howard University

Hurricane Educator Assistance Program


Immediate Aid To Restart School Operations (RESTART)

Impact Aid Section 8002 Payments for Federal Property

Impact Aid Section 8003 Payments for Federally Connected Children

Impact Aid Section 8007b Discretionary Construction Grant Program

Impact Aid Section 8008 Facilities Maintenance

Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Education Agencies (Title I, Part A)

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries

Improving Teacher Quality State Grants

Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind

Independent Living State Grants Program

Indian Education--Demonstration Grants for Indian Children

Indian Education--Formula Grants to Local Education Agencies

Indian Education--National Activities

Indian Education Professional Development Grants

Individualized Education Programs — Special Education Research

Innovative Programs

Innovative Strategies in Community Colleges for Working Adults and Displaced Workers

Institute for International Public Policy

International Research and Studies

Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)


Jacob K. Javits Fellowships Program

Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program

Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program — National Research and Development Center


Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization


Language and Vocabulary Development Special Education Research

Language Resource Centers

Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program

Life Skills for State and Local Prisoners Program

Local Flexibility Demonstration Program


Magnet Schools Assistance

Mary Switzer Research Fellowships

Master's Degree Programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Master's Degree Programs at Predominantly Black Institutions

Mathematics and Science Partnerships

Mentoring Grants

MEP Consortium Incentive Grants

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program

Migrant Education-College Assistance Migrant Program

Migrant Education Coordination Support Center

Migrant Education Even Start

Migrant Education Program

Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program

Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program Grants Program


National Assessment of Educational Progress

National Coordinator Program

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

National Professional Development Program

National Resource Centers

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

National Writing Project

Native American and Alaska Native Children in School Program

Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program (CCRAA)

Native Hawaiian Education

No Child Left Behind — Blue Ribbon Schools Program


Pacific Vocational Education Improvement Program

Parent Information and Training Programs

Parental Information and Resource Centers

Partnerships in Character Education Project Program

Predominantly Black Institutions Program

Predominantly Black Institutions Program (CCRAA)

Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities

Presidential Scholars Program

Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youths Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk

Professional Development for Arts Educators-Arts in Education

Programs for Native Hawaiians

Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education

Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence)

Projects With Industry Program

Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program

Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology

Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights


Qualified Zone Academy Bonds


Race to the Top Fund

Race to the Top Assessment Program

Randolph Sheppard Vending Facility Program

Reading and Writing Special Education Research

Reading First

Reading is Fundamental-Inexpensive Book Distribution Program

Ready To Learn Television

Ready-to-Teach Grant Program

Recreational Programs

Regional Educational Laboratories

Rehabilitation Act Program Evaluation

Rehabilitation Act Program Improvement

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers

Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

Rehabilitation Training Program

Research in Special Education

Response to Intervention

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Rural and Low-Income School Program


Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities: Governors' Grants

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities: State Grants

Safe Schools-Healthy Students Initiative

School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs

School Dropout Prevention Program

School Improvement Fund

School Leadership Program

Secondary Analysis of National Assessment of Educational Progress Data

Secondary and Postsecondary Outcomes — Special Education Research

Secondary and Transition Services — Special Education Research

Serious Behavior Disorders Special Education Research

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Small, Rural School Achievement Program

Smaller Learning Communities

Special Education — Grants to States

Special Education— National Activities — Parent Information Centers

Special Education — National Activities — Technical Assistance and Dissemination

Special Education — National Activities — Technology and Media Services

Special Education — Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities

Special Education — State Personnel Development Grants Program

Special Education — Studies and Evaluation

Special Education Teacher Quality Research — Mathematics and Science

Special Education Teacher Quality Research — Reading and Writing

Special Education — Technical Assistance on State Data Collection--IDEA General Supervision Enhancement Grant

Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP) Program

Special Olympics Education Programs

Spinal Cord Injuries Model Systems Program

Star Schools Program

State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program

State Flexibility Demonstration Program

State Grants under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

Striving Readers

Student Support Services Program

Supported Employment State Grants


Talent Search Program

Teacher Incentive Fund

Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants

Teacher Quality and Quality of Other Service Providers for Students with Disabilities

Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program

Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow

Teaching Ambassador Fellowship

Teaching American History

Tech Prep Education

Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access

Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans

Technology Innovation Challenge Grant Program

Tech-Prep Demonstration Program

Territories and Freely Associated States Education Grant Program

The Challenge Newsletter

Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program

Title III Part A Programs — Strengthening Institutions Program

Title III Part B Programs, Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program

Title III Part B, Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions Program

Traditionally Underserved Populations

Training and Advisory Services — Equity Assistance Centers

Training Program for Federal TRIO Program

Transferability for State and Local Educational Agencies

Transition to Teaching

Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational and Technical Institutions Program

TRIO Dissemination Partnership Program

Troops-to-Teachers Program


Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program

Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program

United States-Russia Program: Improving Research and Educational Activities in Higher Education

Upward Bound Math-Science

Upward Bound Program

US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program


Veterans Upward Bound Program

Vocational Education — Basic Grants to States

Vocational Education — Grants to Native Americans and Alaska Natives

Vocational Education National Programs

Vocational Education - Native Hawaiians

Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities

Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants

Voluntary Public School Choice


We the People

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

Women's Educational Equity

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