Blended Learning on the Fast-Track: PCSB Hearing Jan 28

School of the future? Or “miniature call-center,” as one observer sees it?

Either way, this model of education could be headed for DC

following one 89-minute, little publicized public forum.

from USA Today's gallery on Rocketship schools
from USA Today’s gallery on Rocketship schools

More photos accompany USA Today’s story on Rocketship.

Single “Fast-Track” Hearing January 28

DC’s Public Charter School Board is holding a hearing on two of the three corporations who applied for fast-track approval to operate charter schools in Washington, DC:

January 28
6:00 PM
3333 14th St., NW 2nd FL Conference Room
Washington, DC 20010

Public notice, with location and agenda, was first posted on PCSB’s website on Jan. 25, one business day prior to the hearing. Full agenda and supporting documents appeared with the Jan. 25 notice.

For the record, a November press release warned: “The Board will hold public hearings in January 2013 on the proposals,” and a preliminary note was sent to ANC commissioners in early January, setting a date for the meeting but no location. (The date was shared on The Education Town Hall, on We Act Radio on Jan. 10, 17 and 24, as well as on this blog, but public notice has not appeared anywhere else to the best of the Town Hall’s knowledge…or of Google’s.)

That same press release tells us: “PCSB board will vote to approve or deny the applications during its February 2013 monthly meeting.”

This little publicized hearing appears to be the District’s only forum for considering whether a new model of education — for which scarce research is available — is appropriate for up to 6000 DC students. BACK

Blended Learning Gets 89 Minutes of Unpublicized Public Consideration

Both of the corporations on the agenda for Jan. 28, as well as Nexus Academy (which also applied for “fast-track” approval), plan to bring “blended” learning models to DC. Blended learning has several forms, but all “blend” substantial time on a computer each day combined with traditional classroom hours. The models are financially lucrative for operators in part because computer hours do not involve certified teachers; in addition, some subjects — music and art, at Rocketship, e.g. — are simply not offered. There is little research on these models for K-12 years, but supporters stress flexibility and opportunities for individualization.

Within DCPS, Kramer Middle School received a federal grant to use Adaptive Curriculum, and Hart Middle School is testing Teach to One.

Overview of “Blended Learning” and related research.
More on Rocketship (RSED)
More on Flex Academy (K12)
Information on Pearson Education (Nexus Academy)


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