Special Report

Accelerating Innovation

March 7, 2012
The word "innovation" seems to be in everyone's lexicon these days; it's even turning up as part of new education job titles in school districts and states. The ideas that undergird it are animating a growing movement that's spurring new policies, programs, and products that carry with them the potential to transform how students learn and how schools operate. This special report, produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, examines the education marketplace and new approaches to schooling that are changing K-12. For continuing coverage of business trends and emerging models in education, visit our Industry and Innovation page.
  • Accountability Studies Find Charters Vary in Quality, Creativity
    Two decades after charter schools were created, research is unclear on whether they are any better, or more innovative, than regular public schools.
    Jaclyn Zubrzycki, March 5, 2012
    6 min read
    States States Loosening 'Seat Time' Requirements
    A growing number of districts are awarding academic credit based on what students know—not how long they've been learning it.
    Sean Cavanagh, March 5, 2012
    9 min read
    Joshua Dawson, a new teacher at Key Middle School, works with students, while other pupils work with audiobooks on laptops. With seven new teachers, Key replaced relatively few teachers. Overall, the district’s Apollo 20 schools replaced more than half their teaching staffs as part of the turnaround effort.
    Joshua Dawson, a new teacher at Key Middle School, works with students, while other pupils work with audiobooks on laptops. With seven new teachers, Key replaced relatively few teachers. Overall, the district’s Apollo 20 schools replaced more than half their teaching staffs as part of the turnaround effort.
    Michael Stravato for Education Week
    School Choice & Charters Houston Schools Take a Page From Best Charters
    With its Apollo 20 program, the Houston district set out to bring the best charter school ideas to its lowest-performing schools.
    Christina A. Samuels, March 5, 2012
    9 min read
    School & District Management Innovation Offices Pop Up in State Education Agencies
    In an effort to spawn new ideas on schooling, some states are creating innovation offices within their state education departments.
    Sean Cavanagh, March 5, 2012
    4 min read
    JAMES H. SHELTON is the assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education.
    JAMES H. SHELTON is the assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education.
    Melissa Golden for Education Week
    Federal Q&A: Ed. Dept. Innovation Chief Articulates Federal Role
    In an interview with Education Week, James H. Shelton, the assistant secretary for innovation and improvement, addresses the effectiveness of U.S.-sponsored initiatives to test new educational approaches.
    Michele McNeil, March 5, 2012
    6 min read
    SALMAN KHAN, the creator of the Khan Academy, uses his office, in Mountain View, Calif., to record online educational videos.
    SALMAN KHAN, the creator of the Khan Academy, uses his office, in Mountain View, Calif., to record online educational videos.
    Ramin Rahimian for Education Week
    Curriculum Q&A: Khan Academy Creator Talks About K-12 Innovation
    In an interview with Education Week, Sal Khan addresses the "flipped classroom," customized learning, and the road ahead for teachers.
    Lesli A. Maxwell, March 5, 2012
    5 min read
    School & District Management The Pace of Educational Change Quickens
    New models of schooling and developments in the K-12 market are prompting schools to test new approaches.
    Kevin Bushweller, March 5, 2012
    4 min read
    School Choice & Charters Variety of Models Fuels Hybrid Charter Growth
    Financial stresses seen prompting more charter founders to embrace a hybrid approach to save money on teachers, facilities, and content.
    Ian Quillen, March 5, 2012
    8 min read
    Nancy Peng, a junior at Josiah Quincy Upper School in Boston, makes an animation using a Lego figure and SAM Animation software after school.
    Nancy Peng, a junior at Josiah Quincy Upper School in Boston, makes an animation using a Lego figure and SAM Animation software after school.
    M. Scott Brauer for Education Week
    Ed-Tech Policy Startups Seek to Master the Education Market
    The increasing flow of venture capital into K-12, and heightened interest in educational technology, are creating opportunities for market newcomers.
    March 5, 2012
    9 min read
    LAURIE RACINE, a co-founder of Startl, sits in Union Square in New York City.
    LAURIE RACINE, a co-founder of Startl, sits in Union Square in New York City.
    Michael Rubenstein for Education Week
    Ed-Tech Policy Q&A: Startl Co-Founder Outlines Strategies for Startups
    In an interview with Education Week, Laurie Racine talks about the role of her nonprofit group, which works to help educational technology businesses get off the ground.
    Ian Quillen, March 5, 2012
    5 min read
    Ed-Tech Policy Companies Target Hybrid-Charter Market
    As hybrid charter schools have grown in number, so, too, has companies’ understanding of how to serve the small but growing niche of schools.
    Ian Quillen, March 5, 2012
    3 min read
    Federal Feds Aim to Spark Fresh Thinking on Schooling
    The U.S. Department of Education is ramping up efforts to spur K-12 innovation—though it's still playing catch-up with the private sector.
    Michele McNeil, March 2, 2012
    7 min read