Today Fordham is releasing a new volume explaining how the U.S. education system must change in order to realize the potential of digital learning. Education Reform for the Digital Era argues that major overhauls of school finance, governance, and accountability are needed if on-line education is to live up to its potential.
The policy blunders that hamstrung the charter-school movement as it grew can be avoided this time if policymakers and education leaders demonstrate foresight and boldness now. To do so, explain editors Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Daniela Fairchild, those leaders must overcome entrenched interests, public education’s resistance to change, and the system’s basic structures for financing and governing.
The new book provides estimates of the costs—and savings—for online learning models, as well as targeted chapters on how to overhaul a system that has been leapfrogged by advances in technology. These address:
- “Teachers in the Age of Digital Instruction,” by Bryan C. and Emily Ayscue Hassel;
- "Quality Control in K-12 Digital Learning: Three (Imperfect) Solutions," by Frederick M. Hess;
- "The Costs of Online Learning," Tamara Butler Battaglino, Matt Haldeman, and Eleanor Laurans;
- "School Finance in the Digital-Learning Era," by Paul T. Hill; and
- "Overcoming the Governance Challenge in K-12 Online Learning," by John E. Chubb.
Download the full volume (as a pdf
The full video from yesterday's panel discussion is now available online. Whether you attended in-person, joined the conversation online, or missed it altogether, you can watch the replay of the lively converstation on the future of digital learning (or read the recap from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)
Be sure to mark your calendars for the release of Fordham's digital learning volume, "Education Reform for the Digital Era," available for download April 25, and continue the conversation by registering for "Digital Learning: The Future of Schooling?" That discussion, featuring an all-star lineup of policymakers, experts, and administrators, will be streamed live from Columbus, Ohio on Fordham's website from 1 to 4 p.m. EDT on May 17.
What fundamental changes to the ways we fund, staff, and govern American schools are necessary to fulfill digital learning's potential? There’s still time to hear experts answer that question by registering for this Thursday’s panel discussion, “Education Reform for the Digital Era,” from 9 to 10:30 a.m. EDT. The conversation will feature the governance expertise of the Hoover Institution's (and, now, Education Sector’s) John Chubb, insights into teaching's future from Bryan Hassel of Public Impact, the Parthenon Group’s Eleanor Laurans on the costs of online learning, and the cautionary perspective of Emory University's Mark Bauerlein. Register now to attend in person or stream the discussion live Thursday morning, and mark your calendars as this conversation continues in Columbus, Ohio on May 17. Be sure to send along your questions for panelists to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Ed Week’s Katie Ash noted yesterday, opposition to virtual schooling (and the role of businesses in the field) remains very much in vogue. While NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant’s Huffington Post critique of online learning—and of John Chubb’s recent Gadfly editorial on the subject—is the most vivid example, Adam Emerson observed on Choice Words that such criticisms are going mainstream.
To parse the debate swirling around digital learning’s potential and the policy challenges it poses, Fordham will host several leading lights on the subject at our D.C. office on April 19. Chubb will join the Parthenon Group’s Eleanor Laurans, co-author of “The Costs of Online Learning,” Public Impact’s Bryan Hassel, and digital learning skeptic Mark Bauerlein for “Education Reform for the Digital Era,” a Fordham LIVE! panel discussion from 9 to 10:30 a.m. EDT.
Register now to reserve your seat, and be sure to head on up to American University this Friday to see Fordham President Chester E. Finn, Jr. discuss best practices in education with Bellwether Education's Andy Rotherham and Brookings’ William Galston from 1:30 to 3:30 at the “Whither American Education?” conference.
About the Editor
Michael J. Petrilli
Executive Vice President
Mike Petrilli is one of the nation's foremost education analysts. As executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, he oversees the organization's research projects and publications and contributes to the Flypaper blog and weekly Education Gadfly newsletter.
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