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, CreativityTwo decades after charter schools were created, research is unclear on whether they are any better, or more innovative, than regular public schools.Executive Skills & Strategy The Pace of Educational Change QuickensNew models of schooling and developments in the K-12 market are prompting schools to test new approaches.States States Loosening 'Seat Time' RequirementsA growing number of districts are awarding academic credit based on what students know—not how long they've been learning it.Executive Skills & Strategy Variety of Models Fuels Hybrid Charter GrowthFinancial stresses seen prompting more charter founders to embrace a hybrid approach to save money on teachers, facilities, and content.School Choice & Charters Houston Schools Take a Page From Best ChartersWith its Apollo 20 program, the Houston district set out to bring the best charter school ideas to its lowest-performing schools.Executive Skills & Strategy Q&A: Khan Academy Creator Talks About K-12 InnovationIn an interview with Education Week, Sal Khan addresses the "flipped classroom," customized learning, and the road ahead for teachers.Ed-Tech Policy Companies Target Hybrid-Charter MarketAs hybrid charter schools have grown in number, so, too, has companies’ understanding of how to serve the small but growing niche of schools.Ed-Tech Policy Startups Seek to Master the Education MarketThe increasing flow of venture capital into K-12, and heightened interest in educational technology, are creating opportunities for market newcomers.Ed-Tech Policy Q&A: Startl Co-Founder Outlines Strategies for StartupsIn 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.School & District Management Innovation Offices Pop Up in State Education AgenciesIn an effort to spawn new ideas on schooling, some states are creating innovation offices within their state education departments.Federal Q&A: Ed. Dept. Innovation Chief Articulates Federal RoleIn 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.Federal Feds Aim to Spark Fresh Thinking on SchoolingThe 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.