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Four Takeaways from Florida’s Legislative Meeting on K-12 Scholarship Programs

Last week, I was invited by the Florida House of Representatives’ PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee to share an overview of regulations required for participation in the nation’s many scholarship programs. Here are a few takeaways from my presentation: Scholarship programs positively impact students and taxpayers. The majority of research shows that students benefit from scholarship programs: […]

Let’s Ask the Right Question

The Associated Press recently published an article called, “US charter schools put growing numbers in racial isolation” (11/3/2017) that draws from an their own study of national enrollment data. Armed with their own analysis, they concluded that about 1,000 charter schools across the country serve super-majorities of students who either identify as African American or […]

New ExcelinEd Policy Resource Helps States Improve Their Career and Technical Education Programs

The “skills gap” in today’s workforce is real. The Department of Labor released the statistic this summer of 6.2 million job openings nationwide—yet at the same time, 7 million Americans were unemployed. This disconnect takes a tremendous toll on individuals and our nation’s economy. Preparing students for entry and advancement in today’s workforce has become […]

Putting Career and Technical Education to Work for Student Success

Preparing students for entry and advancement in today’s workforce has become a top priority – and a bipartisan one – in states across the nation. Indeed, it’s become almost commonplace to read about the “skills gap” in today’s workforce – as well as new initiatives to address it through secondary education. Whether via internships, industry-based […]

It’s Time for International “Catch-up” in 4th-Grade Reading

Less than two decades ago, 4th graders in the United States were among the highest performing readers in the world. The year was 2001, and students in only three countries—Sweden, the Netherlands and England—significantly outperformed our nation’s students on the inaugural “Progress in International Reading Literacy Study,” better known as PIRLS. PIRLS is administered every five […]

Public Voting Underway for National “Choices in Education” Video Contest

The public now has the unique opportunity to see and hear American families, adults and children share personal stories about how “choices in education” changed their lives. Hundreds of families from across the country shared their stories for the “Choices in Education” video contest over the past two months and now the public can vote […]

North Carolina’s New School Report Card Website is a Great Tool for Parents

We have all heard about information being shared on a “need to know” basis. Parents need to know about the quality of their children’s school. Unfortunately, such information often is not readily available. It is buried deep in web sites, and hidden behind technical jargon and impenetrable spreadsheets. Indiana Jones probably would have more success […]

North Carolina Redesigns School Report Cards for Accountability, Transparency

Today, North Carolina State Superintendent Mark Johnson unveiled a complete redesign of the state’s school report card website that will provide clear, transparent information on local school performance to parents, teachers, students and communities statewide. The new website, SchoolReportCards.nc.gov, was developed at the direction of Superintendent Johnson and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction […]

ExcelinEd Identifies Key Trends in New Analysis of ESSA State Plans

Now that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have submitted their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans to the U.S. Department of Education, ExcelinEd has completed a landscape analysis of the nuts and bolts of these plans. “It’s encouraging that in the majority of states, schools will earn summative ratings that are easily […]

Live from #EIE17 with Mike Thomas

The National Summit on Education Reform celebrates its 10th anniversary this year in Nashville, drawing a record crowd of more than 1,100 attendees from more than 40 states. The leading minds in innovation and reform are here, and will be laying out a new and bold direction for education in the 21st century. Stay tuned […]

Transcript: Gov. Jeb Bush’s Opening Keynote Address at #EIE17

Transcript: Gov. Jeb Bush delivered the following Opening Keynote address at ExcelinEd’s 10th annual National Summit on Education Reform, held in Nashville, Tennessee.  Thank you, Governor Haslam. It is great to be in this beautiful state. There is a reason why we’re here, and it’s your leadership. If there wasn’t the kind of rising student achievement […]

Public School Choice Works, Creates Opportunity

Public school choice is working for families across the country. While choice programs certainly face unique challenges in cities across the U.S., a recent study by the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) finds that public school choice is “working well and resulting in new opportunities for families.” Some people claim education choice will result […]

#AskExcelinEd: Q&A with Governor Jeb Bush

Why did you first convene a national summit on education reform back in 2008? When we held our first summit in Orlando in 2008, our entire staff could have fit in a minivan. We were a start-up that took on the rather audacious mission of overhauling the nation’s education system, basing our approach on disruptive […]

Put Students at the Center of Education Funding

Too often, debates about state education funding focus solely on how much money should be provided to school districts. Far too little attention is paid to an equally or more important question: How can your state maximize the impact of existing funding? One critical strategy is to fund students, instead of allocating large blocks of […]

Testing tweaks that every state should consider during their 2018 legislative sessions

This piece featuring ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque was originally posted last week on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog.    Testing tweaks that every state should consider during their 2018 legislative sessions The FlyPaper November 8, 2017 By: Michael J. Petrilli Education reform advocates nationwide are putting together their wish lists for the state legislative […]

Pennsylvania Budget Package Puts Students First

This package gives more Pennsylvania families opportunities to find the best educational setting for their children and takes another step toward equitable student-centered funding across the state.  

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to Address National Summit on Education Reform

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will address the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform on Thursday, November 30, in Nashville, Tennessee. ExcelinEd’s flagship event, now in its 10th year, convenes leaders from across the nation and around the world to share strategies to improve the quality […]

Yes, and…A Review of the “Progressive Case for Charter Schools”

The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently published “The Progressive Case for Charter Schools,” an argument in favor of charter schools. When it comes to charter schools, we find several points of agreement with CAP and some other points we might add to the conversation.

A Tale of Three States: The Next Chapter

Last year ExcelinEd, in partnership with Getting Smart, released Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A Tale of Three States, where we followed the different paths that Idaho, Florida and Utah are taking to pursue personalized learning. Now, ExcelinEd has released The Next Chapter and we pick up where we left off, tracking the next phase of implementation of each state’s pilot program.

2017 National Summit to Feature “Real Faces of Education Choice” Session

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that Chris Stewart, president and CEO of the Wayfinder Foundation, will moderate The Search for Opportunity: Real Faces of Education Choice at the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform on Friday, December 1, in Nashville, Tennessee.

2017 National Summit on Education Reform Media Registration Now Open

Media registration is now open for the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s 2017 National Summit on Education Reform. The nation’s premier education forum, featuring a keynote address by Governor Jeb Bush, convenes lawmakers and policymakers for in-depth discussions on proven education policies and innovative strategies to improve student achievement.

#AskExcelinEd: National Summit edition featuring Q&A with Cari Miller

We are just four weeks away from ExcelinEd’s 2017 National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE17)! During this four-part #AskExcelinEd series, we will share Q&As with some speakers from our upcoming event.

#AskExcelinEd: How do states and schools determine what is a high-quality, industry-recognized credential?

One question ExcelinEd frequently receives when discussing industry recognized credential opportunities is: How do you determine which credentials are high quality?

The Time Is Now: A Review of New America Succeeds Report, “The Age of Agility”

Automation and artificial intelligence have and will continue to render many of our existing jobs, work functions, degrees and skills obsolete — having a tremendous impact on all workers. And this disruption is only accelerating.

What’s in a name? Describing Personalized Learning.

“Consistent and effective communication and engagement with students, educators, parents and community stakeholders is crucial for a successful transition to personalized learning.”  – Tale of Three States: The Next Chapter Over the past several years, ExcelinEd has partnered with federal and state policy leaders to support innovative educators and their efforts to implement competency-based education. […]

2017 National Summit to Feature Session on Messaging and Communicating Education Reform

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform will showcase a conversation on communicating education reform at the annual event in Nashville, Tennessee. On December 1, this strategy session—featuring some of the nation’s leading experts—will address how today’s education leaders can reach today’s audiences with the […]

School Choice Update

FOLLOW-UP How parents make choices: Looking at applicants to New York City’s centralized high school assignment mechanism, a working paper examines the relationship between parent preferences, peer characteristics, and school effectiveness. The researchers find parents prefer schools that enroll high-achieving peers, but, among schools with similar student populations, parents do not rank more effective schools […]

Education Opportunity: A Look at 3 Life-Changing Programs for Florida Students

Florida is the nation’s leader in expanding educational options so that each and every student has access to a high-quality learning environment that best meets their needs. Several states have modeled their private school choice programs after Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship program, which serves low-income students and Florida’s Gardiner Scholarship Program and McKay Scholarship programs, which serve students with disabilities.

Help Communities, Educators and Students Recover from Hurricanes

This hurricane season has been devastating for countless American families. Unfortunately, these hardships can linger for months and sometimes years as families, communities and local and state governments navigate the tough road to recovery.

What is a major policy barrier to implementing Personalized Learning?

Learner-centered education requires broad access to high-quality coursework, yet too many schools and districts are unable to offer critical courses necessary for college and career readiness. ExcelinEd’s Course Access policy seeks to address these gaps through legislation, incentives and guidance allowing students to access an online marketplace of high-quality courses.

2017 National Summit to Feature Five Sessions on Educational Quality

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform will showcase conversations about educational quality at the annual event in Nashville, Tennessee. On November 30 – December 1, these five separate strategy sessions—featuring some of the nation’s leading experts—will cover crucial issues facing today’s education leaders:

#AskExcelinEd: What role does Course Access play in preparing students for college and career?

Learner-centered education requires broad access to high-quality coursework, yet too many schools and districts are unable to offer critical courses necessary for college and career readiness. ExcelinEd’s Course Access policy seeks to address these gaps through legislation, incentives and guidance allowing students to access an online marketplace of high-quality courses.

Personalized learning and accountability: From transition to transformation

Personalized learning presents a vital opportunity to provide rigorous, high-quality instruction while addressing students’ diverse educational experiences and pursuing their unique strengths, interests, and needs. Coupled with flexibility in pace and delivery, personalized learning is grounded in the idea of students progressing when they demonstrate mastery of skills and knowledge, regardless of the time, place, or pace at which such mastery occurs. For some students, it means removing artificial barriers to their engagement with more advanced work. For many others, it means providing tailored support as well as the time and opportunity to close learning gaps rather than leaving them behind year after year.

2017 National Summit to Feature Four Sessions on Opportunity & Choice in Education

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform will showcase four conversations about opportunity and choice in education at the annual event in Nashville, Tennessee.

#AskExcelinEd: How do ExcelinEd’s Innovation policies support learner-centered education?

How do ExcelinEd’s Innovation policies support learner-centered education? ExcelinEd’s Innovation policy set focuses on three core areas that promote learner-centered approaches to education. Each policy set is distinct, yet all are focused on expanding families’ opportunities to select the courses and learning pathways that are best for their students. 

Code.org Founder Hadi Partovi to Address National Summit on Education Reform

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that Code.org founder and CEO Hadi Partovi will address the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform on Friday, December 1, in Nashville, Tennessee.

#ThrowbackThursday A Look Back at How Far We’ve Come!

Back in 2008, ExcelinEd hosted the 1st Annual National Summit on Education Reform in Orlando, Florida. The idea was to create a first-class lineup of inspiring speakers and offer targeted strategy sessions featuring policy experts, legislators and educators to share proven and next-generation policy solutions for improving learning for all students. As we prepare to host […]

A Parent’s Call to Action: Leveraging Personalized Learning for Your Child

From the day of diagnosis, parents of students with disabilities begin the long journey of paving paths through a world designed for the mythical “average” person. In education, we grow accustomed to challenging traditional systems to serve our children so they too can reach their full potential. But the daily struggle is made more difficult because of a significant problem baked into the basic design of traditional education: these systems are set up to serve the “average learner,” who doesn’t exist.

2017 National Summit to Feature Three Sessions on Innovation in Education

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform will showcase conversations about educational quality at the annual event in Nashville, Tennessee. On November 30 – December 1, these five separate strategy sessions—featuring some of the nation’s leading experts—will cover crucial issues facing today’s education leaders:

New Resource to Develop Leaders for Personalized Learning

One of the first questions schools face when they begin transitioning to personalized learning is: “What kind of support will the school leaders and educators need to make this transition successful? Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered Personalized Education helps answer this question.

#AskExcelinEd: What are states using as School Quality and Student Success Indicators?

When ESSA was first passed, there was intense interest in the SQ/SS indicator. Many education experts speculated on the measures states would include in their accountability systems. Meanwhile, some organizations dedicated to the implementation of rigorous accountability systems focused on student outcomes, like ExcelinEd, were concerned that states would use the SQ/SS indicator to water down or complicate their accountability systems. Fortunately, this has largely not been the case so far.

#AskExcelinEd: How are states incorporating student growth into their accountability systems?

One of ESSA’s strengths is that it encourages states to include measures of student growth in their accountability systems. When states hold schools accountable for the academic improvement of each student, it creates a more balanced accountability system because it gives schools credit for improving student achievement, not just for advancing students to the “proficient” level. Recognizing growth provides schools incentive to improve the performance of all students—from those who start school the furthest behind and may not reach proficiency in the first few years to the higher performers who are already proficient and ready to move to advanced achievement.

“Disruptive Innovation” Expert Clayton Christensen to Address National Summit on Education Reform

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and disruptive innovation expert, will address the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform on Thursday, November 30 in Nashville, Tennessee. ExcelinEd’s flagship event, now in its 10th year, convenes leaders from across the nation and around the world to share strategies to […]

Gov. Jeb Bush: Power of Educational Opportunity Will Help Illinois’ Families

Statement from Governor Jeb Bush, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, on Gov. Bruce Rauner signing legislation creating the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program. “Today is an historic day for thousands of Illinois families who have been granted the freedom and ability to choose the learning environment that best matches […]

A Public Charter School Helped Improve My Daughter’s Reading Skills and Instill a Love of Learning

As students go back to school this month, I think back three years ago when my husband and I were registering our oldest daughter, Arianna, for kindergarten. We faced the decision of enrolling her in the elementary school in our district—which was in the process of losing accreditation—or applying to the lottery for Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, a public charter school.

#AskExcelinEd: How much weight do states’ school accountability systems give to academic outcomes?

This #AskExcelinEd series features our analysis of the nuts and bolts of the first 17 ESSA plans (16 states, plus Washington, D.C.) submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Each week we will answer a different question about these plans to help the next 34 states learn from the strengths and weaknesses of the first round […]

Here’s the Florida Charter School Data You May Have Missed

  Last school year was a record-breaker with more than 280,000 Florida students attending public charter schools. While this increase is a cause for celebration, there’s another data point we shouldn’t overlook: Florida’s public charter students are outperforming their peers in traditional public schools in almost all categories and often by wide margins. This performance […]

For Many Reasons, Parents and Students Choose Public Charter Schools

Charter schools continue to serve more students and families seeking specific paths toward academic success. Still, some remain unclear on these effective and popular public education options for millions of students. Charter schools are good for students. A 2017 study found the highest performing charters have lasting effects, carrying students through college at unprecedented rates. […]

Send ExcelinEd to SXSW EDU 2018!

ExcelinEd needs your help to get on the agenda for SXSW EDU 2018! Public voting has officially opened for this year’s #PanelPicker sessions, and a seal of approval from the public is worth 30 percent of the total score. Check out our session ideas below and vote for your favorite session (or all three, because […]

Renowned Educator Steve Perry to Address National Summit on Education Reform

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced that renowned educator Dr. Steve Perry will address the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform on Friday, December 1 in Nashville, Tennessee. ExcelinEd’s flagship event, now in its 10th year, convenes leaders from across the nation and around the world to share strategies to improve the quality […]

Jeb Bush to Host 10th National Summit on Education Reform

Nation’s foremost education policy convening celebrates a decade of Choice, Innovation and Accountability Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), will host the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 29 – December 1. ExcelinEd’s flagship event, now in its 10th year, convenes leaders from across […]

Statement from ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque on NAACP charter schools report

Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement on the NAACP Task Force on Quality Education report issued today. “We recognize the NAACP’s effort to look more closely at charter schools and, in rightfully acknowledging their value, also seeking opportunities for improvement. We also agree with the report’s […]

Families Deserve the Truth from School Grades

This is the eighth installment in a series by ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque, designed to give states guidance on how they can use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to advance student achievement. Read previous posts:  School Accountability Under ESSA Focus School Accountability on Results Balancing Proficiency and Growth in School Accountability Developing Honest, Transparent […]

Criterion-based v. Norm-referenced: Which testing model offers parents relevant information?

This is the seventh installment in a series by ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque, designed to give states guidance on how they can use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to advance student achievement. Read previous posts:  School Accountability Under ESSA Focus School Accountability on Results Balancing Proficiency and Growth in School Accountability Developing Honest, Transparent […]

High School Accountability & Advanced Coursework

Most of us share the goal of exposing students to more rigorous coursework so they will be better prepared for college or a career after high school graduation. And so, it would seem to make sense for states to give schools credit for student participation rates in higher level classes, such as AP, IB or courses leading to industry certification. But good intentions in this case can lead to unintended and negative consequences.

Should Attendance, Discipline & School Safety Influence School Report Cards?

We all can agree that improving student attendance is a desired goal. Ensuring a safe school environment is another one. And so, wouldn’t it make sense to include such data in a state accountability formula? Allow me to make the case for why it does not.

Governor Edwards Signs Bill Strengthening Scholarship Program for Low Income Students

Governor John Bel Edwards recently signed a significant piece of student-friendly legislation into law, which will convert the state’s tax rebate scholarship program to a tax credit scholarship program. This important law will strengthen the state’s scholarship program and ensure additional low-income families have the financial resources they need to choose the best school setting for […]

Statement from Governor Jeb Bush on U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Governor Jeb Bush, Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, issued the following statement on Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. “Today’s Supreme Court ruling reinforces the fundamental constitutional principle that governments cannot discriminate based on religious affiliation. We are heartened that the Court has helped pave the way for expanding parental choice […]

Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Today, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision upholding the constitutionality of the state’s tax credit scholarship program, which serves more than 13,000 students a year.   “The Court’s unanimous ruling is a clear victory for parents in Georgia seeking better educational options for their children. With assurance from today’s ruling, Georgia leaders will […]

A Vision for the Future of K-3 Reading Policy: Personalized Learning for Mastery

  Envision a future where students’ unique strengths and interests are both respected and harnessed—where each child reaches his or her greatest potential. The education systems that will achieve this are characterized by individualized pathways, timely support, flexible pacing and data-based decision making. This is why ExcelinEd advocates for policies that incentivize and enable educators […]

Nevada Joins Utah, Minnesota, North Dakota and Virginia in Creating Personalized Learning Opportunities for Students

More states are developing innovative approaches to education With Governor Brian Sandoval’s signature on Assembly Bill 110, Nevada joins a growing list of states focused on innovation in learning. The bill directs the Nevada Department of Education to launch a pilot program to study and establish recommendations for implementing personalized learning initiatives. Additionally, Utah announced the school […]

Statement on Nevada Gov. Sandoval Signing Law Expanding Opportunity Scholarships

Statement from Patricia Levesque, Foundation for Excellence in Education CEO, on Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signing Senate Bill 555 which expands the state’s Opportunity Scholarship plan. “Empowered by the opportunity to find the right educational options for their unique needs, more Nevada families will now be able to choose their child’s best path toward success […]

Statement from Gov. Jeb Bush on New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera

Today, Governor Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement on Hanna Skandera, who announced she would be leaving her post as New Mexico’s Secretary of Education: “Hanna is one of our nation’s most effective and dedicated education leaders. Her tireless and determined efforts to transform education have changed the lives of thousands […]

ICYMI: South Carolina Summer Reading Camps Provide Additional Instruction for Students with Reading Difficulties

    The South Carolina Department of Education and school districts across the state are gearing up to provide additional support and time on task for struggling third grade readers through Read to Succeed Summer Reading Camps. Reading camps serve students with significant reading difficulties by providing them with the necessary skills to become successful […]

Watch Live: Governor Bush to Deliver Keynote at American Federation for Children’s National Policy Summit Today

Today at noon, ExcelinEd Chairman Governor Jeb Bush will deliver the luncheon keynote speech at the American Federation for Children’s 8th annual National Policy Summit highlighting historic success and future opportunities for school choice. Watch his speech and all the AFC events at www.AFCPolicySummit.com, and follow ExcelinEd on Twitter for live updates of the speech. Click above to watch […]

Competency-Based Education: A National Landscape

Earlier this month, ExcelinEd and EducationCounsel released a new report, Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A National Landscape, which offers a survey of current state laws and policies on competency-based education in K-12 systems.

Developing Honest, Transparent and Effective Accountability Systems

How do you define a successful school? One obvious answer is the percentage of students achieving proficiency in core subjects. If that percentage is high, then obviously, the school has most its students on track not only for graduation, but for life after graduation. And so, it seems we could deem it a success.

ExcelinEd Chairman Jeb Bush Welcomes Dee Bagwell Haslam to Board of Directors

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Jeb Bush, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), announced the addition of Dee Bagwell Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League and one of Ohio and Tennessee’s most engaged and charitable leaders in education reform, to the organization’s board of directors. “Dee Haslam has […]

Just Released: State Guide to Building Online School Report Cards

We are pleased to announce the release of a State Guide to Building Online School Report Cards – a 12-month, step-by-step timeline and guide outlining a process for states to develop a next-generation report card under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This new guide, co-created by the Council for Chief State School Officers, Collaborative […]

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Vetoes Bill that Would Have Harmed Students, Educators

Preserving accountability for educators and families and demonstrating his commitment to improving education for all students, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal today vetoed HB 425. The proposal would have harmed students and teachers by denying access to measurements that track progress on standardized assessments. Maintaining a transparent and accountable measurement system is critical to ensuring students […]

Balancing Proficiency and Growth in School Accountability

How do you define a successful school? One obvious answer is the percentage of students achieving proficiency in core subjects. If that percentage is high, then obviously, the school has most its students on track not only for graduation, but for life after graduation. And so, it seems we could deem it a success.

Charter Schools: Increasing quantity and quality in states

  This is the final post in a three-part series for National Charter Schools Week. View the first post, Charter Schools: Good News for Students, and the second post, Charter Schools: Still Growing! The US Department of Education (USED) is currently accepting grant applications from states to increase the number and quality of charter schools across […]

Charter Schools: Still Growing!

This is the second post in a three-part series for National Charter Schools Week. View the first post, Charter Schools: Good News for Students, and the third post, Charter Schools: Increasing quantity and quality in states. Today, about 3 million students across 43 states attend almost 7,000 charter schools. That is nearly ten times more students […]

Charter Schools: Good News for Students

This is the first post in a three-part series for National Charter Schools Week. View the second post, Charter Schools: Still Growing!, and the third post, Charter Schools: Increasing quantity and quality in states. Look at Florida. The Florida Department of Education published a performance study in March of this year, and the news is good […]

Georgia Governor Signs Laws Boosting Transparency, Accountability and Options for Students

Georgia’s students, families and taxpayers will have stronger educational options after Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation today enhancing transparency and access to a quality education. The four new laws strengthen charter schools that are currently serving more than 90,000 students in the state; create greater transparency in how schools spend taxpayer dollars; enhance school choice […]

Focus School Accountability on Results

To maximize its effectiveness, an accountability formula needs to follow some basic principles. Chief among them is this: Focus on results, not on how they are achieved.

Indiana Students Will Have Enhanced, Equal Access to Educational Options as Governor Holcomb Signs HB 1007

In a victory for Hoosier students in every part of the state, Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1007 which provides broader course options so every child has opportunities to fit their unique needs. House Bill 1007, sponsored by Rep. Tony Cook, provides greater equity by allowing students in all parts of the state to […]

School Accountability Under ESSA

We’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly, the unintended consequences and the double-edged sword of tough-love state accountability systems. Over the next few weeks, we will share some lessons that may help as states develop and finalize their accountability calculations.

VIDEOS: Competency-Based Education Engaging Students & Personalizing Learning

Competency-based education holds the key to revolutionizing education and empowering students by building a foundation for personalized learning. Watch the two videos below to learn what competency-based education looks like and why it’s so important for our nation’s students.

Informed Parents. Better Schools.

JUST RELEASED – KnowYourFloridaSchool.org is a model online school report card that serves as a prototype for states seeking to empower and inform parents and communities with transparent, understandable school data. As states work to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), KnowYourFloridaSchool.org is a real-world, replicable example of how states can reinvent school reporting and better […]

New Online Report Card Tool Demonstrates How States Can Provide Parent-Friendly, School-Level Data to their Communities

Washington, D.C. – Today, ExcelinEd launched KnowYourFloridaSchool.org, a model online school report card that serves as a prototype for states seeking to empower and inform parents and communities with transparent, understandable school data. As states work to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), KnowYourFloridaSchool.org is a real-world, replicable example of how states can reinvent school […]

Utah Offers Opportunities for Competency-Based Education

I am excited to share with you that the Utah State Board of Education announced the release of the application for schools to participate in the pilot phase of the Competency-based Learning Exploratory Team. This comes after Utah lawmakers passed Senate Bill 143 in 2016, creating the Competency Based Education Pilot Program to advance student mastery of […]

Statement from Gov. Jeb Bush on Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Signing SB 1431

Statement from Gov. Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, on Gov. Doug Ducey signing SB 1431 and expanding the Empowerment Scholarship Account program to all families and students. “This is an historic moment for the state of Arizona, its families and most importantly the generations of students who will benefit from […]

Statement from Eric Cantor on Veto of Virginia Charter School Legislation

Today, Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) board member Eric Cantor released the following statement on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s decision to veto Senate Bill 1283 and House Bill 2342, which would have expanded educational options for underserved students in the commonwealth of Virginia. “Despite a growing chorus of voices calling for greater education options for students trapped […]

Statement from ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque on the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement on U.S. Supreme Court decision on Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. “The Court held that in order to meet its obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a school must provide an individualized education […]

Gov. Bevin Signs Bill to Expand School Choice Options for Bluegrass Families and Students

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed House Bill 520 last night, creating new educational options for families across the commonwealth. Kentucky becomes the 44th state in the nation to authorize public charter schools. Nationally, more than 3 million students currently attend charter schools in 43 states. Charter schools are public schools that provide more opportunities to […]

ESSA Implementation: An Update from Washington DC

On March 9, Congress exercised its authority under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the accountability regulations implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that were issued by the Obama Administration. This unprecedented act may raise some questions for states, which this update attempts to answer. But, our advice to states remains the same […]

Statement on Congressional Vote on ESSA

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement on today’s vote. “Although Congress has overturned the accountability regulations issued under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the ESSA statute and its requirements remain in place. ExcelinEd continues to encourage and assist states in developing strong […]

Personalized Learning Worth Fighting For

These goals and dreams may seem lofty, but they should not be optional. Early implementation evidence and beginning research give us hope, but at the end of the day honoring and leveraging the unique gifts and talents of every child is simply the right thing to do.

Getting Personalized Learning Right the First Time

The persistent incapacity of the system to change shouldn’t be a surprise—we are often stuck retrofitting well-intentioned ideas for students whose needs were too complicated to fit into our original models in the first place.

Starting over with Personalized Learning

Our hope is that personalized learning may present the opportunity to flip the traditional model upside down. Or better yet, put it right side up.

JUST RELEASED: New ESSA Playbook on Innovation

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides states with new opportunities and flexibilities to promote innovative policies that advance student learning. Today, I am pleased to share the third in a series of ESSA-themed guides, which focuses on innovative strategies that encourage personalization, rigor and excellence. ExcelinEd’s ESSA Innovation Playbook is designed to help state policymakers […]

Does the American Dream still exist?

Economic opportunity and upward mobility are the foundation of the American Dream. However, there is growing evidence that many of today’s students are struggling to advance. Does the American Dream still exist? Find the answer in ExcelinEd’s latest EdPolicy Leaders Online course, Learning to Dream: Education and Economic Mobility.

New ‘Playbook’ Provides Essential Guidance on Interventions to Assist Georgia’s Low-Performing Schools

I am pleased to share ExcelinEd’s latest report, Implementing School Interventions in Georgia. This customized guide provides timely and proven assistance as communities and state leaders consider school turnaround options this year. The playbook helps state policymakers identify how to leverage flexibility within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and support a rigorous, state-level strategy for turning […]

PRESS RELEASE – An Inside Look at North Carolina’s Read to Achieve Program

North Carolina’s student reading achievement has dramatically increased since the enactment of the state’s Read to Achieve (RtA) Program in 2012. Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released a first-of-its-kind study on RtA, exploring the program’s successes through the insights of local stakeholders and examining ways to build upon these gains. North Carolina […]

An Inside Look at North Carolina’s Read to Achieve Program

The ability to read opens doors and opportunities every child deserves. And today, ExcelinEd released a report examining how North Carolina is reaching more students with this life-changing skill. For nearly four years, North Carolina has used Read to Achieve—the state’s K-3 comprehensive reading program—to get more students reading on grade level by the end […]

School choice isn’t about pitting public schools against private schools

“When it comes to education, a one-size-fits-all model simply doesn’t work, and choice is important.” The question remains, how much choice, and, specifically, should private schools be included?

Statement by ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque on Senate Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education

Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement on the Senate’s confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. “With Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, our children and parents will have a passionate advocate representing their interests in Washington. Secretary DeVos has the courage, knowledge and leadership […]

Statement by Governor Jeb Bush on Senate Confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education

Governor Jeb Bush, President and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement on the Senate’s confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. “I congratulate Betsy DeVos on her confirmation as our nation’s next Secretary of Education. The President made an excellent choice to lead the Department of Education. […]

DeVos is a Champion for All Students – WTAS 10

Tallahassee, Fla. – Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “For the past 25 years, I have worked to find solutions to the high illiteracy rate in America. This is one of the most significant problems contributing to the […]

Leaders Across Country Say DeVos is Best Choice For Students – WTAS 9

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “Duncan and DeVos. Different politics. But the same sense of urgency about this mission: Children can’t wait … High praise and a high bar for the next education secretary. We hope […]

#EIE16 VIDEO FEATURE – Todd Rose & the End of Average

At the 2016 National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE16), Dr. Todd Rose shared how shifting education’s focus from the average to the individual could maximize learning for each student and provide an environment for achieving success in a diverse and changing world.

DeVos Continues to Gather Support Before Final Senate Vote – WTAS 8

Tallahassee, Fla. – With the Senate HELP Committee’s favorable vote on Tuesday, here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “Betsy DeVos deserves this vote of confidence and endorsement toward confirmation as the next Secretary of Education. Despite the partisan […]

Kentucky Unveils Great New Tool for Bluegrass Residents to Chart Education Paths to Careers

Tallahassee, Fla. – Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner and commonwealth leaders have unveiled the Kentucky Future Skills Report, a new interactive online tool to easily allow all residents to assess the future demand for jobs and the most practical paths to prepare for those opportunities.   “Kentucky’s leaders have created a wonderful tool for parents […]

Statement by Governor Jeb Bush on Senate HELP Committee’s Favorable Vote on Betsy DeVos

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Jeb Bush, President and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions’ (HELP) favorable vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary. “Betsy DeVos deserves this vote of confidence and endorsement toward confirmation as the next […]

Statement by Governor Jeb Bush on Senate HELP Committee’s Favorable Vote on Betsy DeVos

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Jeb Bush, President and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions’ (HELP) favorable vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary. “Betsy DeVos deserves this vote of confidence and endorsement toward confirmation as the next […]

ExcelinEd CEO Statement on Senate HELP Committee’s Favorable Vote on Betsy DeVos

Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions’ (HELP) favorable vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary. “Students across our nation are a step closer to having a devoted champion and education leader in Betsy DeVos. Millions share […]

DeVos Support Comes From All 50 States – WTAS 7

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “Betsy DeVos will put children first and empower not only states to lead the way in making critical education decisions, but also empower parents to choose what type of education is […]

Support for DeVos Continues to Grow – WTAS 6

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “More than 70 leaders and organizations, including the Foundation for Excellence in Education, joined the following open letter to show their support for Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. Betsy […]

Open Letter of Support for Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education

Tallahassee, Fla. – More than 70 leaders and organizations, including the Foundation for Excellence in Education, have joined the following open letter to show their support for Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos is an undisputed champion of families and students. For nearly 30 years she has devoted time and resources to improving education options for our […]

Uncovering Opportunities for States to Advance School Choice through ESSA

We all know that too many children have been languishing in failing schools for too many years. ESSA empowers states with an opportunity to rethink their approach to school turnaround and leverage federal dollars to get those students into a high-quality school as soon as possible.

Support Betsy DeVos – A Champion for Children

On January 31, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) will vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos is a passionate champion of families and students. For nearly 30 years, she has devoted time and resources to improving education options for our nation’s children. […]

The Federal Government and School Choice

As you may have noticed, school choice is growing—fast. Today, 25 states plus Washington, D.C. host 50 private education choice programs. Nearly 7,000 charter schools serve students in 43 states and Washington, D.C. As state legislative activity burgeons, Washington is becoming increasingly interested in how the federal government can support the immense success of school choice in the states.

#EIE16 VIDEO FEATURE – 4 Sessions on Educational Choice & a Bipartisan Vision for Ed Reform

4 Sessions on Educational Choice & a Bipartisan Vision for Ed Reform ESAs and the New Frontier in Educational Choice Watch this timely discussion of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and the future of educational choice for our nation’s families. Charter Schools: The Past, Present and Future Learn about the impact of charter schools on the […]

Leaders Across the Country Applaud Betsy DeVos’ Vision – WTAS 5

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) spoke about his own rise out of poverty and the role of education in changing lives. ‘We stand on the verge of the successful nomination of a […]

All about Charter Schools

The charter construct is simple, yet profoundly different from traditional public schools. In exchange for more operational autonomy, charter schools are held accountable for student success. If a charter school does not meet the terms of their contract, the school is eventually closed or turned over to another operator. If it is successful, it is offered the opportunity to expand to serve more students.

What They Are Saying About Betsy DeVos – 4

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “She has extensive experience and an unquestionable commitment to our children. For nearly three decades, she has been on the front lines in dozens of state capitals, working with parents to […]

What are Tax-Credit Scholarships?

Tax-credit scholarship programs provide quality educational options for students, lead to academic benefits for students who remain in public schools, and save taxpayers money. I challenge you to name another government program with these characteristics.

#EIE16 VIDEO FEATURE – Diane Tavenner: Her charter schools use technology to change lives.

  At the 2016 National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE16) last month, Diane Tavenner shared how Summit Public Schools leverage personalized learning with technology to empower students to own their learning.

ExcelinEd Celebrates National School Choice Week

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) is proud to join and support National School Choice Week events this week. This annual event celebrates the growing, rich education options for every child and their families. ExcelinEd’s CEO Patricia Levesque said, “Every child deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Providing all parents with […]

What They Are Saying About Betsy DeVos – 3

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “Betsy DeVos is an inspired choice for U.S. Secretary of Education for a number of reasons, but the most important is that she’s an unapologetic proponent of local control. After years […]

What are Education Savings Accounts?

During National School Choice Week, ExcelinEd’s Adam Peshek is highlighting unique aspects of educational choice policy. Today, Adam explores Education Savings Account programs: what they look like, where they’re advancing and what the 2017 legislative forecast looks like for these programs. Check out related posts on charter schools, tax-credit scholarships, ways the federal government can support school choice and opportunities for […]

What They Are Saying About Betsy DeVos – 2

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “Thanks to Mrs. DeVos’ advocacy, my son, Sam, gained access to a better school and is now a high school graduate. I know that Betsy DeVos has a big heart and […]

What They Are Saying About Betsy DeVos – 1

Here are some thoughtful views on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education and what it means for education reform nationwide: “It’s disturbing that so many politicians can choose the best educational opportunities for their kids but refuse to allow underprivileged families the same benefit. For the fortunate and the clouted, there […]

Statement on 4th District Court of Appeal Decision

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education released the following statement on yesterday’s ruling by Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal, upholding the Florida State Board of Education’s constitutional authority to review and approve charter school applications on appeal. “Charter schools play an important role in Florida’s school choice landscape, providing high quality […]

Governor Martinez Touts Gains, Emphasizes Critical Work Remains on Early Childhood Literacy

During yesterday’s state of the state address, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez emphasized how the state’s dedication to education reform has led to increases in students reaching grade level for math and reading, graduation rates and access to Advanced Placement courses, among other gains. Governor Martinez acknowledged that success is never final and challenged lawmakers […]

Governor Greitens Offers Strong Vision to Provide Choice for Students with Disabilities

During yesterday’s state of the state address, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens offered clear and strong support for increasing student performance in the state. Governor Greitens challenged lawmakers and education leaders to raise Missouri’s student outcomes by creating Education Savings Accounts for children with special needs, expanding access to Advanced Placement classes and increasing teacher pay. “With education savings accounts, parents are able to […]

Governor Sandoval Unveils Student-Centered Education Priorities

Yesterday, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval gave his state of the state address, unveiling several student-centered education priorities, including $60 million to implement the state’s historic Education Savings Account (ESA) program. Governor Sandoval implored leaders to help him modernize education by supporting the state’s ESA program and moving forward with a weighted student funding formula that ensures all […]

Betsy DeVos: A blessing to students, parents, classroom excellence

It’s fair to say that the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. secretary of education is creating some controversy.

And the reason for that is simple. She is a longtime advocate for the decentralization of education decisions to the family level. That makes her a pariah to the education establishment and a blessing to children trapped in failing schools.

Statement from Governor Jeb Bush on Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearing

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Jeb Bush, President and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement on the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos. “Betsy DeVos showed today why she is a hero of the education reform movement. She passionately articulated the case for school choice and parental control and expressed a […]

Statement from ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque on the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos for education secretary

Tallahassee, Fla – Statement from ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque on the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos for education secretary. “As we saw yet again today, Betsy DeVos speaks for those economically struggling parents seeking a better future for their children through the power of a quality education. Those who oppose her nomination now should explain […]

Statement by Governor Jeb Bush on Florida Supreme Court Decision on McCall vs. Scott

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Governor Jeb Bush, President and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement on the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to not hear McCall vs. Scott. “Today’s ruling marks a monumental moment in the lives of the more than 90,000 students who are able to receive a quality education […]

Governor Hickenlooper Outlines Vision to Prepare Students for Workforce Success

During yesterday’s state of the state address, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper challenged state leaders to renew their commitment to quality education in Colorado and ensure all students graduate ready for success in college and/or careers. Governor Hickenlooper also thanked business and philanthropic leaders for investing in career and technical education to narrow the state’s “skills […]

Governor Ducey Calls on Legislature to Create Greater Opportunities for Students

Yesterday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey kicked off the state’s 2017 legislative session with opening remarks on how Arizona can improve its education system to create “boundless opportunities” for the next generation. In a forward-looking speech, Governor Ducey focused on Arizona’s efforts to raise academic achievement and expand educational opportunities to students and their families. “Arizona […]

Georgia Unveils Higher Learning and Earnings Report and Interactive Website

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal unveiled Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings, a new report and interactive website detailing earning outcomes for degrees and certificates obtained at Georgia’s public postsecondary educational institutions. “We commend Governor Nathan Deal for ensuring Georgia parents have the information they need to prepare their children for a successful future,” said Foundation for Excellence in Education CEO Patricia […]

Jeb Bush, Condoleezza Rice Kick off National Summit on Education Reform

WASHINGTON D.C.—Today, Governor Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), opened the organization’s 2016 National Summit on Education Reform with a keynote address. More than 1,000 education leaders from 49 states and 4 countries are attending the event. Additional speakers include Dr. Condoleezza Rice moderating a panel of former U.S. Dept. of Education secretaries; Angela […]

Will we see you at #EIE16 on Thursday?

The ninth annual National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE16) takes place this week in Washington, D.C., and I’m excited to share we are preparing to welcome more attendees than ever before. The National Summit opens on Thursday morning, with Governor Jeb Bush delivering a keynote address at 8:45 AM. Whether you’ll be attending in D.C. […]

ExcelinEd Calls for Greater Flexibility for States to Ensure Education Funding Equity

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— This week, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on proposed regulations requiring federal funds to “supplement, not supplant” state and local funds, as indicated under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). “These proposed regulations impose unwarranted and unnecessary restrictions on school districts and […]

Little State, Big Success in Expanding Course Access

All parents deserve the ability to help their children reach their full potential. The unfortunate truth is that, for many parents, the ability to do so is determined by the side of town on which they live, the high school their child attends, or the amount of discretionary income in their household. As a result, many […]

Futures for Students with Unique Abilities Are Brighter Than Ever

Sandra Casson and her husband are proud parents of five children, ages 18, 17, 10, 7 and 3. Their fourth child, Adeline, has Down syndrome.

2016 National Summit to Feature Sessions on Pathways to State Accountability Under the Every Student Succeeds Act

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education today announced that the 2016 National Summit on Education Reform will feature conversations about states’ pathways to accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at the annual two-day event in Washington, D.C. On December 1-2, these four separate strategy sessions—comprised of some of the nation’s leading […]

Is it time to upgrade your state’s federally-required school report card? Hint: Yes

Earlier this week, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) joined the nation’s leading education reform experts to discuss opportunities for greater accountability and transparency within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). During the panel discussion, Claire Voorhees, ExcelinEd’s Director of K-12 Reform, highlighted the importance of maintaining rigorous accountability systems that measure school performance on a set of objective student outcomes. One accountability system that has been successful in more […]

“The End of Average” Author Todd Rose to Address National Summit on Education Reform

Register Today for 2016 National Summit on Education Reform TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education today announced that Todd Rose, author of The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness, will address the 2016 National Summit on Education Reform on Thursday, December 1 in Washington, D.C. “We leave […]

Statement on NAACP Public Charter School Expansion Moratorium

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement following the NAACP Board of Directors’ vote calling for a national moratorium on public charter school expansion. “The Foundation for Excellence in Education regrets the NAACP’s call to block the expansion of public charter schools. This decision sends a negative message to […]

ExcelinEd Chairman Governor Jeb Bush to Speak at Harvard Graduate School of Education

Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) Chairman Governor Jeb Bush will speak today at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Askwith Forum. The Askwith Forum is a series of public lectures at the Harvard Graduate School that aim to address the highest-priority challenges facing education. The forum will cover a number of topics including, […]

Leading Education Innovators Sal Khan and David Coleman to Address National Summit on Education Reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education today announced leading education innovators Sal Khan and David Coleman will address the 2016 National Summit on Education Reform on Friday, December 2 in Washington, D.C. Sal Khan is the founder and chief executive officer of Khan Academy; David Coleman is the president and chief executive […]

This Latina Mom Explains Why She Values Testing

Margie Viera, a single mom of two boys in Orlando, is proud of her Hispanic heritage. “We work really hard at maintaining our culture. That means that everybody who walks in has to eat something,” said Viera, while stirring a pot of arroz con gandules, a traditional Puerto Rican dish, over the stove in her Orlando, Fla., home.

Michigan Governor Signs Groundbreaking Early Literacy Law

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Michigan Governor Rick Synder signed HB 4822 into law, placing a command focus on early literacy for all Michigan elementary schools and ensuring every Michigan child can read before leaving third grade. Sponsored in the legislature by Representative Amanda Price, the new law was developed with recommendations from Governor Snyder’s bipartisan Third Grade Reading Workgroup. “In Florida, we demonstrated that a command focus on literacy is key to […]

Angela Duckworth to Address National Summit on Education Reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education today announced that Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, will address the 2016 National Summit on Education Reform on Thursday, December 1 in Washington, D.C. “Developing grit depends so much on an environment that is both challenging and supportive,” said Duckworth. […]

The Achilles Heel of Texas: Improving College Eligibility Rates Through K-12 Education Savings Accounts

The Texas Public Policy Foundation, the Texas Business Leadership Council and Excel in Ed teamed up to publish a new white paper by yours truly called The Achilles Heel of Texas: Improving College Eligibility Rates through K-12 Savings Accounts. Bottom line: only a minority of Texas public school students get prepared for even a moderately selective college or university, and the percentage moves to catastrophically low levels when looking at the ethnic minority student groups which now constitute a large majority of Texas students.

State Actions – Policies and Progress Across the Nation, September 2016

Alabama The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved the state’s first charter school application this month. The Mobile Area Education Foundation applied to open Accel Day and Evening Academy, which will serve students 16 and older who have dropped out of school or have fallen behind academically. Accel plans to open in August 2017, with an estimated initial enrollment of […]

Nevada Families One Step Closer to Educational Freedom

Today, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that Education Savings Accounts (ESA) are constitutional.  Nevada’s ESA program is the most expansive educational choice program in the nation. Specifically, the court agreed with the state that the primary constitutional arguments brought by plaintiffs against ESAs are without merit. Although the court ruled against the state on a funding issue, […]

Connecticut Families Look to Improve Outcomes for All Students

Dear Friend, Students make the greatest progress when parents, teachers and education leaders unite around the singular goal of student success. Thankfully, we’re seeing more states move toward this ideal, including Connecticut. Last month, officials released statewide assessment results, which showed progress toward proficiency in English Language Arts and mathematics among Connecticut students. What’s most exciting […]

Putting Cutting Edge Education Policy into Practice

Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released “Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A Tale of Three States.” This comprehensive policy paper outlines how and why Idaho, Utah and Florida launched competency-based education (CBE) pilot programs.

#AskExcelinEd: ESSA

The Foundation for Excellence in Education presents this Question & Answer series #AskExcelinEd on the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to help state policymakers and stakeholders explore and understand the complex new law as well as the many opportunities and solutions to challenges it presents for states. ExcelinEd’s policy team will answer questions they’ve been receiving, […]

ExcelinEd Submits Comments to U.S. Dept. of Education on ESSA Regulations

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on two components of its proposed regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Assessments ExcelinEd’s comments assert that the proposed rules clarify a number of concepts in the statute and provide workable, common sense requirements in key areas such […]

Join Jeb Bush for the 9th Annual National Summit on Education Reform

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— The Foundation for Excellence in Education announces that general registration for its 2016 National Summit on Education Reform, hosted by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, is now open. Now in its ninth year, the summit will be held in Washington, D.C. from November 30 to December 2 at the Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. Gov. […]

Education Policy Experts Join Leadership Team at Foundation for Excellence in Education

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) is pleased to announce two new members of its leadership team. Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds became Vice President of Policy on September 1. Lizzette brings to ExcelinEd almost three decades of policy and legislative experience at both the state and federal level. In her home state of Texas, she […]

New Mexico Students Rising to Meet Higher Expectations

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, New Mexico released the 2015-2016 school grades, meaning each public school (traditional and charter) earned an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grade from the New Mexico Public Education Department. In 2016, the number of A and B schools exceeded the number of D and F schools, signifying progress and enhanced […]

Opt-Out Movement Struggles for Traction

Those in the Opt-Out movement may be becoming more vocal and more adamant, but they are not picking up more supporters for their cause. A comprehensive national survey on education issues, which is conducted annually by Education Next, shows a decided majority of Americans opposes the Opt-Out agenda.

Helping Louisiana Students Reach Their Potential

Dear Friend, ExcelinEd believes all children have a natural love for learning. This is why we work with states to build an education system that focuses on the success of each and every child, regardless of circumstance. Louisiana is one such state that is achieving real results with bold education reform policies and steadfast leadership. This […]

A Smorgasbord of Learning

Maddison likes her school – a lot.

“We can sit wherever we want,’’ she says. “We can do whatever we want.’’

Obviously this can’t be true because Maddison is in first grade at Lost Lake Elementary in Lake County, Fl. And as we all know, children at that age must be subject to strict control and adult supervision at all times.

Applications Open for the Tennessee Individualized Education Account Program

Applications for the new Individualized Education Account (IEA) Program from the Tennessee Department of Education are available now. The IEA Program provides options for parents of students with disabilities to choose the educational opportunities that best meet their child’s individual learning needs, including private school tuition, online education, homeschooling, tutoring, therapies and other approved expenses.

Creating Better Outcomes for Struggling Students: My Thoughts on Florida’s Recent State Board of Education Meeting

Last month, the Florida State Board of Education met to discuss and approve turnaround plans for 46 elementary, middle and high schools with failing school grades.* More than 14 local superintendents and district leaders appeared before the board to present detailed plans to improve student academic achievement for each failing school in their district.

ExcelinEd Submits Comments to the U.S. Department of Education on ESSA Regulations

Today, The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on its proposed accountability regulations implementing the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

State Actions – Policies and Progress Across the Nation, July 2016

Arkansas The application period for the Arkansas Succeed Scholarship Program (passed in 2015) is now open. This groundbreaking program empowers parents of students with special needs by providing them a scholarship to a private school of their choice that best meets the learning needs of their children. Up to 100 Arkansas students with an Individualized […]

ExcelinEd Supports Defense of Nevada’s Education Savings Account Program

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) submitted an amicus brief with the Nevada Supreme Court in support of the state’s Education Savings Account program, the most expansive educational choice program in the nation. The amicus curiae brief supports the state’s motion to dismiss a constitutional challenge to the program filed by […]

Applications Open for the Arkansas Succeed Scholarship Program!

Dear Friend, The application period for the Arkansas Succeed Scholarship Program is now open! This groundbreaking program allows up to 100 students with special needs to receive a scholarship to a private school of choice, empowering parents to choose the school that best meets the learning needs of their children. Arkansas families can apply today […]

Searching for a Great Education: One Military Family’s Journey

When military families move to a new community, one of the biggest challenges for parents is finding the right learning environment for their children. This can be difficult for any family, but the fact that the average military child will move six to nine times during their K-12 experience makes the need for educational continuity all the more important.

North Carolina Governor Signs Student-Driven Budget

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory signed the amended 2016-2017 state budget, which included significant funding for College and Career Readiness, K-3 Reading and School Choice— more than $55 million in additional funds to spur student gains and growth and prepare North Carolina’s future workforce for success in the global economy. “North Carolina has made quality […]

A winning playbook – One principal’s game plan to prepare students for college.

Principal Carlos Ferralls is knocking back his second shot of Cuban coffee, as if he needs it. Ferralls thinks fast, talks fast, moves constantly and sees everything. The traits that served him well as a three-time, All-America wide receiver in college, and later as a high school coach, now serve him well in the hallways and classrooms of the Doral Academy Preparatory School.

Summer Learning on the Lagoon

For many kids, learning doesn’t end when school break starts. They go to camps, visit museums, and so on. Enrichment and learning continues even though school is closed. But for other students, the story is different. Their parents may lack the resources to fill the summer void. What these kids learned the previous school year […]

State Actions – Policies and Progress Across the Nation, June 2016

Louisiana Louisiana ended its regular session on June 8, and Governor Bel Edwards immediately called a special session to address the state’s budget deficit. During the regular session, the legislature proposed funding the Louisiana Scholarship Program (vouchers) at $36 million for FY 2017, but it was ultimately funded at $40 million in the special session […]

Patricia Levesque: Chancellor Henderson’s commitment to improving student outcomes is an example for the nation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement on Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s upcoming departure from the D.C. Public School District. “Chancellor Henderson’s steadfast commitment to student progress and student success, especially for traditionally underserved students, is a model for all education leaders,” said Patricia Levesque CEO of ExcelinEd. […]

Mississippi Governor Recognized for Leading Education Improvements for Students

Governor Phil Bryant receives the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation Tallahassee, Fla.  – Today, Governor Phil Bryant and the state of Mississippi received the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) nominated Governor Bryant and Mississippi for this Education Commission of the States award that recognizes a state […]

AFC and ExcelinEd encourage RNC and DNC platforms to embrace school choice

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), a national leader in reforming education, encourage both the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to embrace school choice in their official party platforms. “Every child deserves access to a world class […]

Playing the waiting game for my child’s education

Last year, Nevada adopted a historic Education Savings Account (ESA) program to expand choice and opportunity to children in the Silver State. Now, the program is under attack. ESAs place state dollars designated for a child’s education into an account that parents can manage to cover the cost of customized learning, including private school tuition, […]

It’s about the child, not the system: Jeb Bush, podcastED

  Photo from redefinED   What is school choice and how can it help empower parents to get the best education for their students? Jeb Bush, ExcelinEd’s Chairman and former Florida Governor sat down with Denisha Merriweather, intern at Step Up for Students to discuss the importance of school choice on redefinED’s podcast PodcastEd. Listen Now.

What Happens When School Is Too Easy?

What happens when high school standards aren’t quite high enough? In my experience, you get a reality check after graduating.

A birthright of school choice for all Arizona students

Parental choice in education is about giving every child the chance to learn in a school that is the right fit for him or her. In recent years, Arizona’s traditional public and charter schools have made remarkable progress, and the state’s expansion of educational choice has been a major contributor. ExcelinEd’s Dr. Matthew Ladner has […]

Goodbye, middle school! This top school’s K-8 model works.

Arbor Ridge Principal Paige Tracy is using exceptional teachers, higher standards and a dynamic K-8 school model to drive student success. She shares her school’s secrets to higher student achievement in the latest post on the EdFly Blog.

Industry Certifications Prepare Students for In-demand and Better-paying Careers

Much like a professional athlete doesn’t wait to train until they make the team, our students can’t wait until they apply for a job to prepare for a career. Right now, some states are offering students the opportunity to earn employer-valued skills before they leave high school. Otherwise known as industry certifications, these skills lead […]

ICYMI: Jeb Bush on Saving America’s Education System

Today, Governor Jeb Bush, Chair of ExcelinEd, dropped a truth bomb: America must massively disrupt its education system if we want to ensure long-term national and economic security. Read Governor Bush’s latest piece in the National Review to learn just how states can save America’s education system. Saving America’s Education System National Review By: Jeb […]

Grades for Students, Grades for Schools  

Everyone is invested in the quality of their local school—from students to local businesses. And in Georgia, it just became easier to understand how well individual schools are preparing students for success.

Ed Tech’s Role in Ensuring Student Data Privacy

Data is essential to an effective educational system. It supports high-quality teaching, drives personalized learning for students and underpins school accountability. Yet parents, privacy advocates, educators, administrators and policy makers may not be equally comfortable with the policies and protections in place to protect student data. It is critical to find the right balance between […]

ExcelinEd Supports Vergara v. California Petition for Review

June 3, 2016 Tallahassee, Fla. – Yesterday, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) joined the California Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Orange County Business Council, and Valley Industry & Commerce Association in signing an Amici Curiae letter in the case known as Vergara v. California. The Amici Curiae, or “friend of the […]

Meeting the man on the street

A few years ago, a young man stopped me on the street. I didn’t recognize him, but he knew me. “I was in your wife’s intensive reading class because I didn’t know how to read,” he explained. “It changed my whole life.”

State Actions – Policies and Progress Across the Nation, May 2016

  ARIZONA On May 10, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed the comprehensive 2016-2017 budget (HB 2707) into law that included funding for College Credit incentives, a program that rewards schools and teachers for helping students successfully complete Advanced Placement (AP) and other college-level courses. Also this month, Governor Ducey signed SB 1457 to allow students […]

Colorado Governor Signs Career and Technical Training Bill  

May 27, 2016 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 1289 into law establishing incentives for high schools to offer career and technical education opportunities to students in high-demand fields. Schools will be rewarded for each student who earns an industry-recognized credential. If funds allow, schools will also be rewarded if a […]

Jeb Bush to serve as Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education

May 24, 2016 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today announced the election of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as Chairman and President of its Board of Directors. Governor Bush replaces Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who has served as Chair since January 2015 and remains a member of the Board of Directors. […]

ExcelinEd Commends Georgia’s A-F School Grading System  

May 24, 2016 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Office of Student Achievement released the first annual A-F school grades for Georgia’s more than 2,200 schools. Grades are determined by a combination of factors, including student achievement, student growth and achievement gap closure, and can viewed at Schoolgrades.Georgia.Gov. Georgia is setting high expectations for students […]

iHawk Academy is sealing up the cracks in education

Carrie Short believes iHawk Academy is developing an effective framework that more schools and districts will one day follow. “Just imagine how many students have been lost in the cracks because we failed to reach them,” she said.

ExcelinEd Commends Arizona on Efforts to Refine A-F School Grading System

Tallahassee, Fla. – Since 2010, Arizona has employed an A-F School Grading System to help spur improvement among all schools. Equally important, the grades provide critical information about school performance to parents, educators and the public. Today, the Arizona State Board of Education began the process of refining that system to better serve students and […]

Choosing Preparation over Pride for Reading Success

Dale R. Fair Babson Park Elementary is a high-performing conversion charter school in Babson Park, Fla. The school has earned an “A” grade from the state’s school grading system for six of the past seven years. Babson is known for more than its high achieving status; however, it’s also known for its high rates of […]

Statement from Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education regarding Duncan v. State of Nevada

“Today, Judge Eric Johnson made the right ruling in upholding Nevada’s Education Savings Account program. “We applaud Judge Johnson for granting the state’s motion to dismiss, which helps clear the way for more than 5,000 families to get on with the business of seeking the best educational options for their children. “We call on the […]

Hands are in the air at Dayspring Academy

  There are many metrics for judging school success—test scores, advanced coursework and so on. My metric is hands in the air. When you walk into a classroom and see hands in the air, quivering and shaking, silently pleading with the teacher to “call on me,” it translates into enthusiastic learners. It’s hard to overestimate […]

Arizona Governor Commits Record College Credit Incentive Funding  

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey approved a comprehensive 2016-2017 budget that included strong support for College Credit incentives, a program that rewards schools and teachers for helping students successfully complete Advanced Placement (AP) and other college-level courses. “Today’s students will be driving tomorrow’s economy. Advanced course work can make a positive and […]

The Never Ending Middle School Years

“My students know I really want them all to succeed,” says Florida middle school teacher Jo Ellen Stanley. “I tell them, ‘even if you’re the smartest one in the class, I can help you improve.’”

Arkansas Governor Approves Succeed Scholarship Program Funding  

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Arkansas’ 2016-2017 budget (SB 59) which included funding for the Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities.  This groundbreaking program allows up to 100 students with an individualized education plan (IEP) to receive a scholarship to a private school of choice, empowering parents to choose the school […]

Personalizing Learning for Students with Disabilities

This week, our friends at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) released a new report, Personalized Learning: Meeting the Needs of Students with Disabilities. This report represents the culmination of a year-long project engaging experts, educators and advocates to determine the challenges and opportunities posed by a personalized learning experience for students with special needs. […]

Making reform work: Teachers can’t do it alone

The strains and struggles in everyday teachers’ voices regarding student poverty are sincere, and fresh thinking about poverty is long overdue.

Tennessee Governor Commits Record Funding to Early Literacy

Dear Friend, Reading is a fundamental life skill. When mastered in the early grades, it becomes a gateway to success in school and life. Last month, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a comprehensive budget in SB 2653 that included strong support for early literacy. The 2016-2017 budget allocates $9 million for a statewide coaching and intervention initiative that will […]

Expanding course opportunities in South Carolina

Dear Friend, Today, I had the privilege of presenting ExcelinEd’s Course Access model policy before the South Carolina House of Representatives Education and Public Works Committee. The committee is considering the South Carolina Course Access Act (H 5216), a bill that would expand educational opportunities for public school students in the Palmetto State by creating […]

Georgia Governor Stands Up for Students

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed SB 355, which would have created a formal, statewide mechanism for students to opt out of annual state assessments. Testing shows whether individual students are on track to succeed, and how successful schools are in preparing students for the future. History shows that without giving teachers and schools this feedback on how students are doing, far too many students […]

What a Great Teacher Did for My Kid

My oldest daughter, Carly, was reading my Marvel comics at age 3. She started Harry Potter in first grade, and I stopped her after the third book because of what happens to Cedric Diggory in the fourth book.

State Actions Update: April 2016

COLORADO Earlier this month, a bipartisan vote by the Colorado Senate Education Committee passed legislation to require school districts to share local funding with public charter schools. The bill would also provide public charter schools with access to unused school facilities. The Colorado Senate is now considering this legislation. On April 18, the Colorado House of Representatives […]

ExcelinEd and America Achieves Course Unlocks PISA Data for Districts

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today opened enrollment for its latest EdPolicy Leaders Online course, How Do We Stack Up? Using OECD’s PISA to Drive Progress in U.S. Education. The course begins May 23 and has seven modules, which explore how pioneering education leaders can use PISA as a tool to improve teaching and learning for […]

Enroll Now: Learn How to Use PISA to Improve Education

ExcelinEd is pleased to announce that enrollment is open for our newest EdPolicy Leaders Online course, How Do We Stack Up? Using OECD’s PISA to Drive Progress in U.S. Education. The course is a combined cohort and self-paced model, starting on May 23. It offers seven weekly webinars for participants to connect with education leaders across the […]

This school is changing futures—one child at a time.

  School of the Immaculata (SOTI), founded in 2005, is a private religious school serving 106 K-12 students in the heart of St. Petersburg, Fla. Its student body is more than 90 percent minority and low income, and nearly all students are recipients of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. The school opened to confront the […]

Tennessee Expands Access to Online Learning

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 1879, a new law that boosts online learning options for students throughout the Volunteer State. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, the new law allows Tennessee public school students to take a range of courses offered by other public schools across the state. Sponsored by […]

Why charter schools? Because of this.

Each child deserves to be surrounded by adults who truly believe in her. For Kim, that meant choosing a charter school.

Idaho Releases Mastery Education Pilot Participants

April 22, 2016 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Idaho Department of Education announced the first group of schools that will participate in the newly created Idaho Mastery Education Network (IMEN). The Idaho Department of Education selected 19 regionally diverse schools, who are developing unique approaches to mastery education, to participate in the pilot program.   “Idaho is on the cutting […]

Professional & Technical High School in Osceola

Having all students graduate is a goal for every high school. For the Professional and Technical High School (PATHS) in Osceola County, it has been a reality for the past 10 years.

Making the grade in Texas

Dear friend, Today, I presented ExcelinEd’s model A-F School Grading policy to the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability. The Commission was created in 2015 to develop and make recommendations for new systems of student assessment and public school accountability for the Lone Star State. All states are required to have a school […]

New Blog Series: The Secrets of Great Schools

What are the secrets of great schools? We went to find out in a state with plenty of them—Florida.

Mississippi Expands Access to Public Charter Schools

Last week, Governor Phil Bryant signed SB 2161 to expand the Mississippi Charter Schools Act of 2013 and give more students the ability to attend a charter school. Expanding access to public charter schools can bring life-changing opportunities for Mississippi’s students. ExcelinEd believes all parents deserve the freedom and flexibility to choose the right school or […]

Florida Offers Lessons on Supplement Not Supplant

Florida’s student funding model aims to achieve equitable state and local funding while taking into consideration on-the-ground realities.

#AutismAwareness: How One State Opened New Doors for Students

Thanks to Florida’s Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA) program, eight-year-old Gregory is in a new learning environment where he is defying previous diagnoses and predictions.

RECORD BREAKING HEATWAVE: NORTH CAROLINA’S CHANGING AGE DEMOGRAPHY

April 6, 2016 Raleigh, NC. – Today, at an event hosted by the Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC), Dr. Matthew Ladner of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released original research on the demographic challenges facing North Carolina’s education budget, entitled Record Breaking Heatwave: Baby Boomer Retirement, Student Enrollment Growth and the Future […]

Preparing NC for the Coming Economic Storm

Between now and 2030, a seismic demographic shift will wreak financial havoc on government budgets large and small―from Uncle Sam all the way to the local school district. North Carolina will be in the middle of this impending economic storm.

This is what the face of school choice looks like

Public schools and teachers work tirelessly to instill the love of learning in students. But for those of us whose children aren’t thriving, hoping we might get a better teacher next year is not the recourse we are seeking.

50% of high schools don’t offer calculus. The solution is pretty simple.

Your child has big plans for her future. But there’s just one catch—her high school doesn’t offer the courses she will need to earn admittance to her preferred program at her dream college.

What Competency-Based Education Looks Like

Competency-based education is a system of instruction where students advance to higher levels of learning when they demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills. In this setting, learning doesn’t rely on time, place or pace. Students are challenged and ultimately graduate ready to choose college or career. This new system is comprehensive and can include and […]

ExcelinEd Praises Merger of 50CAN and StudentsFirst

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Yesterday, national education reform organizations 50CAN and StudentsFirst announced their merger, strengthening local networks in communities across the country working to improve the quality of education for every student. Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education released the following statement. “50CAN and StudentsFirst have been active, impactful partners in […]

Utah Governor Signs Competency-Based Education Grants Program into Law

March 29, 2016 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Yesterday, Governor Gary Herbert signed SB 143 into law, which establishes the Competency-Based Education Grants Program.  Under this law, schools may apply for grants to pilot a competency-based education program where students advance to higher levels of learning when mastery is demonstrated regardless of time, place or pace. “Utah […]

How to Recruit High-Performing Charter Management Organizations – Just Released!

Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Ampersand Education released a new report that explains how to attract high-performing Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) to states and cities. The paper, How to Recruit High-Performing Charter Management Organizations to a New Region: Results from the 2015 CMO Survey, […]

Does K-3 reading matter? Ask the 70% of inmates who can’t read.

Life is unforgiving for children who can’t read. This is why K-3 reading matters so much.

‘The Voice’ and School Choice: One young singer is thriving thanks to education options

Shalyah Fearing, 16, is competing on the hit TV show ‘The Voice.’ Florida’s school choice options make it possible for her to pursue music while completing her education.

Idaho Governor Signs Early Literacy Program into Law

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Butch Otter signed into law H 451 and H 526, bills that establish and fund an early literacy program to help struggling readers and ensure all students are reading on grade level. The new laws follow Governor Otter’s bold commitment to early literacy efforts that ensure all Idaho students are […]

A dream put on hold returns to life

An epic battle took place on The Voice stage a couple weeks ago. The contenders were similar in style and sound. But different in age, and different in opportunity.

Cake-covered smiles

Hearing those words–Down syndrome–just minutes after her birth threw me into a tailspin. The doctor went through a litany of things our daughter would never do in her life. But she never told us about cake-covered smiles.

Reimagine Prep Charter School providing opportunity to Mississippi scholars

In August, Reimagine Prep opened in Jackson as Mississippi’s first charter school, and from the moment you walk in, you can sense that everyone is bustling with purpose. The school’s mission is straightforward: to prepare each student for college.

Are States Preparing Students for Success?

Tallahassee, Fla.—Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) relaunched an updated interactive website WhyProficiencyMatters.com, offering parents and the public an easy way see how their state compares when it comes to setting academic expectations for students. To date, 36 states, including Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, New York and West Virginia, have raised their expectations […]

Statement by Patricia Levesque on U.S. Secretary John King

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released the following statement congratulating Secretary John King on being confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Education. “Throughout his career – from teaching to leading the New York State Education Department  – Secretary John King has shown a tireless commitment to […]

Industry Certifications Can Help Colorado Build a Global Workforce

Today, I addressed policymakers, education advocates and business leaders at the STEM Summit Policy Forum in Denver. The forum, hosted by the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Succeeds, was an opportunity to focus on expanding and improving STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – options for all of Colorado’s students. Career preparation […]

The Truth about Reading

Kids who can’t read proficiently in third grade are four times more likely to dropout or fail to graduate from high school.

Student learning soars in Florida school embracing high standards and testing

“I like accountability, and it’s why I made the jump,” said 25-year educator Tracey Hertzog. “Test data helps me understand my students’ thinking, and it drives my instruction. I’ve seen struggling students make a complete turnaround because of it.”

GEORGIA: AT THE INTERSECTION OF EDUCATION AND AGING

GEORGIA: AT THE INTERSECTION OF EDUCATION AND AGING Research Report by ExcelinEd Highlights How Demographic Changes Will Challenge Georgia’s Public Education System Today, at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Dr. Matthew Ladner of the Foundation for Excellence in Education released original research on the demographic challenges facing Georgia’s education budget, entitled At the Intersection of […]

Uncle Sam’s Sketchy Finances and the Future of Georgia

In the coming years, Georgia will see a rise in the percentages of elderly and youth populations. The changing age demography is going to have a direct impact on Georgia’s state budget and an indirect one through federal finances.

#ProficiencyMatters for the kids in your life

Does your state have high expectations for student learning? The answer to this question could shape the future of the children in your life—your son or daughter, your niece or the kid next door.

Hurricane Gray Swirls Toward South Carolina

Today, Dr. Matthew Ladner of the Foundation for Excellence in Education released his second piece of original research on the demographic challenges facing state education budgets, entitled Hurricane Gray Swirls toward South Carolina: Age Demographic Change and the Near Future of South Carolina Education. The analysis contains both research on the demographic challenges facing South […]

South Carolina Can Survive and Thrive Through Hurricane Gray

There is a serious storm on South Carolina’s horizon. In order to secure a brighter future for all citizens, the state must take action now.

It’s Testing Season: Keep Calm

Spring is a time to celebrate warmer weather, budding flowers and things looking a little brighter. But some might argue that spring also has a few drawbacks, like pollen or testing.

Blaine discrimination started with Catholics and now extends to families

A byproduct of anti-Catholic bigotry in the 1800s, Blaine amendments have become the preferred method for those attempting to block parents from choosing where their children go to school.

ESSA: What States Need to Know Now

With the passage of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), states face an incredibly complex transition filled with opportunities and potential perils. Here are 5 things states need to know about school accountability.

State Actions – Policies and Progress Across the Nation, February 2016

COLORADO This week a bipartisan coalition of Colorado legislators filed HB 1289, a bill to establish a pilot program of incentives for high schools to provide a variety of career and vocational training courses to students. The bill would establish a $1 million annual appropriation that begins in fiscal year 2017-2018 and continue for two years. Participating school […]

Wondering about the ESSA timeline? Check this out.

America’s revamped federal education law sets into motion a series of events that will influence education from state departments of education to local classrooms.

A “Supreme’’ victory for Oklahoma families

400 Oklahoma children are using the state’s scholarship program for students with disabilities. This month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously concluded the program is in compliance with the state constitution.

Video: Nevada Parents Await Court Ruling on ESAs

This video by The Seventy Four captures exactly how the lawsuits against Nevada’s Universal Education Savings Account Program are affecting families in the state.

A Word to Success Academy’s Opponents: Stop Hating and Start Creating

To those who don’t approve of Success Academy’s model or the charter school network’s extraordinary outcomes, Derrell Bradford of NYCAN recently offered some savvy advice: open more charter schools.

Florida Chamber of Commerce issues education report

The Florida Chamber of Commerce recently released a comprehensive report on our education system that is a must read for all stakeholders.

Why advanced coursework in high school matters for success in college

Yesterday, ExcelinEd and the Arizona Chamber Foundation released a joint policy brief which finds that completing rigorous coursework in high school is one of the best predictors of students’ success in college.

Why advanced coursework in high school can lead to success in college

New paper from the Arizona Chamber Foundation and the Foundation for Excellence in Education examines barriers to advanced courses, explores options for increasing participation rates PHOENIX – The Arizona Chamber Foundation and the Foundation for Excellence in Education today released a joint policy brief that examines the challenges to ensuring more Arizona high school students […]

Idaho, Georgia and Ohio are on the road to personalized learning

Idaho, Ohio and Georgia provide three different state approaches to expedite the beginning of the initiative while allowing time for thoughtful implementation.

Here’s what personalized learning looks like in Florida

Florida lawmakers are working to make true Competency-Based Education possible in the Sunshine State.

Are you ready to celebrate Digital Learning Day 2016?

Tomorrow, students, parents and educators nationwide will celebrate student-centered innovations during Digital Learning Day 2016.

ICYMI: DC Devotes $29K per Student Each Year. What if Parents Controlled That Money?

Public schools in Washington, D.C., have made incredible strides in recent years, but there is still much more that can be done to improve education for all students in the District.

Time to Take Off the School Choice Training Wheels in D.C.

On the surface, Washington, D.C. has been making dramatic academic progress, especially in the charter school sector which now educates almost half of K-12 students in the District.

States considering next generation of school choice policies

States considering next generation of school choice policies  School Choice policies, particularly Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), are an innovative way to bring customization to K-12 education. The 2016 legislative season is off to a great start with many states pursuing new programs or expanding programs to give more students access to educational opportunities. ALABAMA Representative […]

Tennessee Considers Course Access

Thanks to this new technology-driven choice initiative, students can access a high-quality education regardless of their location.

Competency-Based Education requires more than just adding devices

What are the best ways to get started with Competency-Based Education? ExcelinEd’s Karla Phillips teamed up with Getting Smart’s Tom Vander Ark to share a dozen ways schools and districts can begin personalized learning and Competency-Based Education.

About Testing

While tests are a regular part of life, they should not be the focus of a student’s classroom experience. ExcelinEd advocates for fewer, better tests, and we will continue to support statewide testing as an annual check on student achievement and learning.

School choice: “The Civil Rights issue of our time.’’

At a hearing before the Education and the Workforce Committee, Denisha Merriweather attested to the impact of school choice in her own life. Merriweather told the committee, “The cycle of poverty is ending in my family because of the Florida Tax‐Credit Scholarship. I received a quality education and, because of my example, my siblings are now seeing how to take advantage of educational opportunities.”

State of States Update: Tenn., Okla., Miss. and S.C. Governors on Education

Today, we’re highlighting four governors—from South Carolina, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee—who have used their state of the state addresses to highlight education.

ExcelinEd applauds Tennessee Governor Haslam for championing student achievement

Dear Friend, Yesterday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam delivered his State of the State address, marking the sixth straight year in which he has emphasized education reform in his agenda. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Haslam for again prioritizing the needs of Tennessee students. Education highlights in Governor Haslam’s remarks included: School […]

ExcelinEd Commends Oklahoma Governor Fallin for Embracing Reform to Improve Education System

Dear Friend, Today, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin delivered her sixth State of the State address and underscored the value of building a student-centered education system. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) commends Governor Fallin for continuing to introduce bold education reform policy that provides Oklahoma students with choice in education. Education highlights in Governor […]

Putting the Pieces Together

In the midst of holiday preparations, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission issued its final report and gave competency-based education advocates a little present.

State Actions January 2016 – Policies and Progress Across the Nation

The State of the States As many states begin their legislative sessions, Governors across the country are addressing their constituents on the state’s accomplishments to date and goals for the future. Education has been a central topic for many Governors, including:  Arizona Governor Doug Ducey reiterated his support for ensuring all students are college and […]

ExcelinEd Participates in 2016 Educate Georgia Summit

Dear Friends, The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) was proud to be a part of 2016 Educate Georgia Summit this week, hosted by Georgia State Representative Valencia Stovall and featuring Governor Nathan Deal, House Speaker David Ralston and others. During this two-day event, more than 300 education leaders and lawmakers gathered at the capitol […]

Celebrating a new choice in town: Single-gender public school

“At first, I was skeptical of the single gender concept,” said Hiram Tookes, YMLA class president. “Now I can’t thank our teachers and principals enough for making this place possible. I am more focused, my teachers push me to be my best, and now I realize I must take a serious business approach to my studies in order to be successful.”

ExcelinEd Applauds MS Governor Bryant for championing education reforms

Dear Friend, Yesterday evening, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant delivered his fifth State of the State address and once again demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fighting for education reform. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Bryant for being a tireless champion for education reforms that benefit all of Mississippi’s students. Governor Bryant used […]

CARE Elementary is changing education in Overtown

In a Miami neighborhood where illiteracy and poverty are rampant, one free private school is changing lives.

ExcelinEd Celebrates National School Choice Week in Nevada!

ExcelinEd Celebrates National School Choice Week in Nevada! Tallahassee, Fla. – The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) proudly supported and participated in the Nevada National School Choice Week event today. In the Silver State, it is an especially significant celebration as Nevada implemented the nation’s first Universal Education Savings Account last year. Around the […]

Crazy Socks & Quiz Shows: This is how Florida celebrates reading!

It is Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Each year, Florida dedicates seven days to recognizing and encouraging the journey of literacy for its children.

ExcelinEd Celebrates National School Choice Week!

This year, an anticipated 16,000+ events will be held across the nation in support of school choice. Here are some highlights:

ExcelinEd Celebrates National School Choice Week!

Dear Friends, The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) is proudly participating in several National School Choice Week events this week. This annual event celebrates and raises awareness of effective education options for every child. Follow @ExcelinEd for live updates, and join the social media conversation on these and other #SCW events. ExcelinEd’s CEO Patricia […]

How Idaho Is Making Mastery Education a Reality

Last week Kelly Brady, the Director of Mastery Education* for the Idaho State Department of Education, explained why she believes in this approach to learning. Read Kelly’s first post here. Today, Kelly is sharing a second post, explaining just how Idaho is making Mastery Education a reality for its students. *Mastery Education, also known as […]

ExcelinEd applauds SC Governor Haley for her commitment to students and families

Dear Friend, Yesterday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley delivered her sixth State of the State address, in which she laid out a budget that moves education reform forward. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Haley for her leadership in continuing to improve the education system and prioritizing student learning and success. Some […]

Kids have one shot at education. Help parents make it count.

Today’s post is co-authored by ExcelinEd’s McKenzie Snow and Adam Peshek. Last week, they authored the post “ZIP codes are great for sorting mail. But kids?”   Children have just one opportunity to receive an excellent education. Our parents were able select great schools for us. Because of our parents’ choices, we were each able to […]

State of States Update: New Mexico, Indiana and Georgia Governors Spotlight Education

Today, we’re highlighting three governors—from New Mexico, Indiana and Georgia—who have used their state of the state addresses to discuss education.

ExcelinEd applauds NM Governor Martinez for championing an education-first budget

Dear Friend, Yesterday, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez delivered her sixth State of the State address and offered bold initiatives to continue education reform in the state. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Martinez for being a tireless champion for education. Governor Martinez is proposing greater investments in New Mexico’s education system […]

Why this experienced teacher believes in Mastery Education

Thanks to advances in technology and new student-centered models of teaching and learning, we now have the tools to meet the needs of every learner!

ZIP codes are great for sorting mail. But kids?

In the past decade, we have seen a tremendous growth in school choice. Why? Because people acting on something they have known all along—education cannot be delivered like the mail.

ExcelinEd commends IN Governor Pence for commitment to students and teachers

Dear Friend, Last night, Indiana Governor Mike Pence delivered his fourth State of the State address. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) commends Governor Pence for his commitment to Indiana students and teachers.  Whether it be expanding a student-centered school choice programs, providing additional dollars to Indiana’s highest-performing teachers or giving much-needed support and […]

ExcelinEd applauds GA Governor Deal for pursuing bold education policies

Dear Friend, Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal delivered his sixth State of the State address and reaffirmed the state’s commitment to building a better education system for all Peach State students. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Deal for being a tireless champion for education reforms that benefit all of Georgia’s students. […]

Mississippi Governor: We Should Not Stand in the School House Doorway and Resist School Choice

Yesterday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant gave an inaugural speech that outlined a bright future for Mississippi students and their families–a future including a healthy dose of school choice.

State of States Update: Idaho and Arizona Governors Spotlight Education

This week, our nation’s president and state governors have been giving state of the state speeches to address issues, call for change, recognize triumphs and paint hopeful portraits of the future. Today, we’re highlighting two governors—from Idaho and Arizona—who have used their state of the state addresses to discuss education. Specifically, how they plan to […]

ExcelinEd applauds AZ Governor Ducey for his commitment expanding educational opportunities

Dear Friend, Yesterday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey delivered his second State of the State address, in which he reiterated his continued commitment to improving and expanding educational opportunities for all of Arizona’s children. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Ducey for his leadership in continuing to improve Arizona’s education system and making […]

ExcelinEd commends ID Governor Otter for embracing reform to improve education system

Dear Friend, Yesterday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter delivered his 10th State of the State address and once again embraced reform policies to improve the education system for all students in the state. The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Otter for working to ensure every school in the state prepares Idaho’s children for […]

Why Nevada’s ESA program injunction should be immediately reversed

Yesterday, Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson granted a preliminary injunction that orders the State Treasurer to stop implementing Nevada’s new education savings accounts pending further court deliberations.  Blocking this new education program restricts Nevada parents from choosing the best education option for their children. Further, these actions will cause irreparable harm, disruption and […]

ExcelinEd Calls for Immediate Reversal of Nevada Education Savings Account Program Injunction

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson granted a preliminary injunction that orders the State Treasurer to stop implementing Nevada’s new education savings accounts pending further court deliberations. Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, released the following statement. “Today’s action by a Nevada District Judge to block […]

Statement from Patricia Levesque on FL State Board of Education

Tallahassee, Fla – Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education today released the following statement on the Florida State Board of Education’s decision regarding Florida’s School Grading formula. “Florida has become a national leader in student academic improvements, with its most disadvantaged children making the most progress. This came about because our […]

Updated #ProficiencyMatters Scorecard: Is your state closing the gap?

Check out this updated #ProficiencyMatters score card to see if your state is setting adequate expectations for your children!

#OnTheFly: 10 Greatest Hits of 2015

This year, The EdFly Blog published 197 posts—ranging from provocative perspectives on the opt-out movement to in-depth policy pieces and heartwarming parent testimonies on school choice. Here is a recap of 2015’s greatest hits on The EdFly Blog!

Over-Regulation in Louisiana’s Voucher Program

But for vouchers to work, a program must be well designed and implemented. It must not overregulate schools or handcuff them financially. They must be given the autonomy to maintain their unique identity, including the ability to control their curriculum rather than being forced to follow the public school template. Doing so only defeats the purpose of the vouchers.

Video: What grade would your school earn?

Everyone understands the difference between an A and an F. Learn how A-F School Grading is making a difference in more than a dozen states!

Advancing students when they are ready

It’s no secret that ExcelinEd is excited about Competency-Based Education—the new approach to learning that allows to students to advance as they master course material. Politico Florida recently reported that with guidance from the Foundation for Florida’s Future (ExcelinEd’s sister organization), three school districts in Florida have already begun implementing competency-based education pilot programs. Now […]

DLN Report Card: Advancing Course Access in Michigan

Over the past year, Michigan has built on this policy to streamline offerings and work toward ensuring that Course Access will be a sustainable part of its educational ecosystem.

Tennessee’s Looming Battle: Needs of the Young v. Needs of the Old

Tennessee students made more improvement between 2011 and 2013 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) than their counterparts in any other state. This is a promising start, and in this blog post we will be making the case for why Tennessee lawmakers should continue to vigorously seek still more improvement.

Our actions today will decide history

Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education released the 2014 Digital Learning Report Card, an annual report that grades each state’s 2014 digital education policies. If you’re left wondering how these policies affect you, just consider what is happening in your hometown right now.

Betrayed by the System 

Michael Lomax, CEO of the United Negro College Fund, weighed in on the national debate on testing earlier this month.

Let’s Stop Cheating Kids out of the Education They Deserve

With all the news around the opt-out movement, one important question is often overlooked. Who really benefits when students opt out of an annual test?

DLN Report Card Preview: Student Achievement Backpacks in Utah

Utah’s Data Backpacks will give parents and educators a comprehensive view of each student’s progress and achievement so they can work with the student to create a personalized learning plan.

Just Do Your Best

In watching parents across the nation opt their children out of standardized testing, I am left wondering why they have changed course and strayed from their usual mantra of “just do your best.” Why is this childhood experience so different in their eyes?

Vanessa’s Journey: Empowering Special Education Through Technology

Like any good Type A, control-freak, helicopter mom, I had been making my daughter watch educational videos pretty much since birth, but the truth is that because she was still non-verbal at two-to-three years old I had no idea if she was learning much. And then I bought an iPod…

Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts Poised to Help More Students

Florida is becoming as well known for its education as its sunshine, and the state’s newest educational choice option is gaining national attention from states looking for common-sense, customizable solutions for students.

Opt-Out:  Grassroots movement or teachers union initiative?

But now we are seeing the unions break ranks, actively working against that which they once supported as being in the best interest of children. They are spending vast sums to promote the so-called opt-out movement, claiming it is a large grassroots effort when in fact it is an organized political campaign that has attracted only a small minority of more affluent parents.

DLN Report Card Preview: Creating Innovation Zones in West Virginia

West Virginia is doing something truly novel. The state is allowing schools and districts to disregard policies and ignore codes. This approach hasn’t spawned anarchy. Instead, it has allowed schools and teachers to try new innovations in teaching and learning methods.

The Three R’s of National Security

Florida’s public education system is on track toward ensuring all students are equipped to succeed. That bodes well for our students, our state, our economy and our nation’s security.

What Will It Really Take to Realize the Dream

America has spent 40 years working to individualize education, and what lessons have we learned? What have we learned to enable a true shift to a student-centered personalized system of education?

Florida Mom: Testing and Accountability Are Important for Education

Testing is an important tool to measure progress and quality. Without it, the quality of a student’s education would vary significantly from district to district, town to town, school to school and even classroom to classroom. Our kids deserve the highest-quality education possible. To achieve that, we need to measure progress and make sure schools and teachers are helping students reach their greatest potential.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

You probably noticed the great fanfare over Florida’s new Advanced Placement (AP) results this past week. Wait…You didn’t hear anything about it?

Finding the Balance: Accessing the benefits of data while safeguarding student information

Last week, Georgia passed the Student Data Privacy, Accessibility and Transparency Act (SB 89). This is the first bill in the nation that comprehensively protects student data while also improving parental access to their own child’s data.

DLN Report Card Preview: Providing Options for Arizona Students

For years, this seat-time oriented system has forced students to adapt to a pre-determined learning schedule. Now, states are recognizing the need to allow students to progress at a flexible, personalized pace. That is exactly what is happening in the Grand Canyon State.

Florida AP Results Top Massachusetts

Florida just passed Massachusetts in the percent of high school graduates who have scored 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement exam, probably the biggest upset since the tortoise and the hare.

Choice for school board members comes to Florida

As a professional, Shawn Frost works with business start-ups. But it was as a member of the Indian River County School Board that Frost really decided to do something different. He took on the established Florida School Boards Association by starting up a conservative alternative.

DLN Report Card Preview: Seeding Innovation in Ohio

Imagine a fund that sparks innovation and spurs student learning. In Ohio, such a fund is setting the stage for real change to K-12 education. They call it the Straight A Innovation Fund.

Mom of Five: Parents Can Make Better Decisions Than Zip Codes

Some parents have choices in their children’s education. They can afford different schools, they get lucky, they know how to finagle the system or – like me – they qualify for one of the programs in our state that gives families more options. But what about the others?

Hay una alternativa a la “exclusión”

Hay quien afirma que los exámenes son injustos, y que ejercen demasiada presión sobre los niños y las escuelas. Pero el estado de la Florida ha demostrado que cuando se mide el desempeño académico, aquellas escuelas cuyos alumnos obtuvieron calificaciones inferiores han demostrado una mejoría dramática. Yo considero que lo injusto sería no preparar a nuestros hijos para los retos de una educación y éxito en la enseñanza en sus estudios postsecundaria.

Winning the Ed Reform Conversation

Reform is reshaping the landscape of public education, converting a stale and outmoded system designed for centuries past and converting it to a 21st century model designed around the learning abilities of students.

There is an alternative to opting out

There are those who argue tests are unfair, that they put too much pressure on schools and children. But Florida shows that when held accountable, schools that once failed children can improve results dramatically. What is unfair is not preparing our kids to be successful after high school.

Idaho Agrees: Flexible Pace > Seat Time

Earlier this month, the Idaho legislature unanimously passed legislation, HB 110, which directs the Department of Education to begin Idaho’s transition to a mastery-based education system.

Timing Is Everything

Competency-based education is a system of personalized instruction with enough flexibility to provide the time, feedback and support for ALL students to demonstrate mastery of state standards. By allowing students to “show what they know,” students will be able to progress through classes at a flexible pace, with around-the-clock access to coursework from any location. […]

Florida’s class-size amendment: Fixing a $30 billion mistake

What sounded good on a ballot turned chaotic when implemented to the letter of the law.

The Link Between K-12 Education and National Security

Education gives children the capacity to succeed in life, and their combined success ensures prosperity for our nation. We all understand that. Now take out the word “prosperity” and substitute “security.’’

SXSW Update: ExcelinEd presents EdPolicy Leaders Online

This is the final piece in a three-part series on our takeaways from the SXSWedu conference. Earlier this month ExcelinEd staff joined teachers, ed tech companies, district leaders and stakeholders at the annual event in Austin, Texas to discuss the most pressing topics in education, including personalized learning, student data privacy and classroom innovations. Read […]

SXSW Update: The Need for Innovation

SXSWedu sparked conversations on innovation in education. One conversation included Betsy DeVos, ExcelinEd Board Member and Chairman for the American Federation for Children. She spoke last Wednesday at “Competition, Creativity, and Choice in the Classroom” and shared how modernized education practices – including digital learning – can help our nation produce students ready for college and careers. DeVos also focused on how educational choice can transform lives and provide students with unprecedented educational opportunities.

SXSW Update: Student Data Privacy

Last week, thousands of innovative teachers, ed tech companies, district leaders and stakeholders flocked to the annual SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas. Today we’re sharing the first of a three-part series on our top takeaways from the event.

Georgia Faces a Challenging Future

Is Georgia prepared for the future?

DLN Report Card Preview: Accelerating Students in Florida

This means Florida schools no longer have to rely on seat time to award academic credits. Advanced students who master the material quickly can move on to another course, cutting down on boredom. Struggling students can take more time so they are not left behind. Learning is the constant and seat time is the variable.

What It Takes for a Student to Succeed

Frustration quickly grew into hopelessness. De’Antay even told me he wanted to drop out of school. And then we realized this was normal. His teachers told us that De’Antay was doing better than most, that we should be happy he was a “D” student. When I heard this, I knew I had to get him out of that school as soon as possible.

States Across the Nation Pursuing Education Savings Accounts

There is growing interest by states in Education Savings Account (ESA) programs, with at least 22 state legislatures pursuing or considering the policy in 2015. The programs take funds that otherwise would be spent educating children in traditional public schools and sets them aside into accounts controlled by parents. The parents then can use the […]

Waffles & Testing – A Dad’s Recipe

My daughter started writing books in first grade, was a better writer than me by third grade, and now here she is in fifth grade, afraid of a standardized writing test. This is like Einstein being afraid of Algebra 1.

I wish I could opt out of writing this

I would like to opt-out of writing this blog, but alas I cannot. Because my boss would opt out of paying me. And my wife might opt out of having a deadbeat hanging around the house. There are some things that just must be done.

When the difficult is entirely possible

Is an A-F school grading system unfair to low-income schools, which invariably earn a disproportionate number of lower grades?

Getting Smart on the My School Info Design Challenge

Last year, ExcelinEd launched the My School Information Design Challenge to help states reimagine their annual school report cards. Read what our friends at Getting Smart had to say about the Challenge, including the Challenge’s recently released findings brief. My School Information Design Challenge By: Getting Smart February 26, 2015 The #SchoolInfo challenge is an […]

Third Grade Reading Laws: Their Importance and Impact on Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Issues

Experts agree that many students with Individualized Education Programs can meet grade-level reading standards. Even students with reading disabilities can learn to read when provided with appropriate services, instruction and supports. That’s why we believe that students with disabilities, as a whole, should not be exempt from any third grade reading program. Failing to include students with disabilities can allow poor reading instruction for these students go undetected. It can reinforce the idea that students with disabilities should have different expectations than those in general education. We must not turn away from these students. Instead, we should provide the services and supports needed to help them reach the same standards as their peers.

How to Transform Convoluted Documents into Accessible School Report Cards

Through the My School Information Design Challenge and the research on which it was based, states possess a greater understanding of the need and opportunity to transform their school report cards. They have access to creative ideas and willing assistance to help them reach that goal.

ExcelinEd Develops Roadmap for States to Deliver Powerful School Information

Over the past five months, ExcelinEd has been focused on bringing creative energy to a national opportunity. And just what is that opportunity? Improving parents’ ability to access and understand powerful school information.

Opportunity Scholarships are a Lifeline to a Better Education – to a Better Life

In December 2013, two lawsuits were filed, one by the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and the North Carolina Justice Center, and another by the North Carolina School Board Association, to block low-income families from using Opportunity Scholarships. The new voucher program launched for the 2014-15 school year with over 5,500 applications. However, due […]

Using Minds Well in the Grand Canyon State

Our very own Karla Phillips joined Getting Smart’s Tom Vander Ark last month to visit two school networks in Phoenix that teach young people to use their minds well. Earlier this month, Vander Ark shared about the school networks in two posts on his EdWeek blog. Check out part one on Great Hearts Academies below. (Click here to read part two […]

Warning: Delayed Graduation Possible

MINIMUM GROWTH WARNING: AT YOUR CHILD’S CURRENT RATE OF PROGRESS AND ACHIEVEMENT LEVEL ON THE STATE ASSESSMENT, THE PROBABILITY OF YOUR STUDENT GRADUATING ON TIME IS _____ %.

What if parents received these notices on their child’s report cards?

EdPolicy Leaders Online: Access to Education’s Top Experts

I am excited today to announce a new initiative by the Foundation for Excellence in Education called EdPolicy Leaders Online, a series of free, self-paced online education reform massive open online courses (MOOCs) designed specifically for policymakers and education reform partners. The best part is – you can enroll right now!

Expanding student minds in the Bayou

Imagine an education system where we go beyond school choice, where we give families a choice over courses. Not simply the courses available in their schools, but every conceivable course that could be offered – languages such as Chinese, technical courses such as welding, rigorous academic courses such as Advanced Placement calculus, or even music […]

Report Review: Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report

Last week, Michigan Virtual University (MVU) released Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report for 2013-2014. The second annual report, required by the legislature, looks at 2013-2014 data from the Michigan Department of Education to analyze the growth and effectiveness of the online delivery model. This unique requirement enacted through Public Act 60 encourages transparency, additional […]

Will Oklahoma be OK or KO in 2030 and Beyond?

Oklahomans should feel the gravest possible level of concern. It is an unambiguous blessing to have multiple generations of Americans alive at the same time, but the American social welfare state is not prepared for it at either the state or federal level.

“This School Afforded Me the Opportunity to Be a ‘D’ Passing Student”

“This school afforded me the opportunity to be a ‘D’ passing student.” De’Antay Curry from Birmingham went on to say “I stayed in this school for two years, and I was told that I was doing better than most.” Thankfully, De’Antay was not proud of the results, despite his teachers suggesting he should be, and […]

A Demographic Tug-of-War Faces State Leaders

¬The myth that bigger budgets will lead to better public education has been refuted by years of research, yet a state’s commitment to quality schools often is measured by how much it spends on them. As detailed in a groundbreaking report out today from the Foundation for Excellence in Education – Turn and Face the Strain: Age Demographic Change and the Near Future of American Education by Dr. Matthew Ladner – that approach not only has failed but also is no longer sustainable given the demographic trends facing our nation.

Turn and Face the Strain

Tomorrow we will release a new study on American age demographics and their looming impact on the American K-12 education system. The report Turn and Face the Strain: Age Demographic Change and the Near Future of American Education will contain detailed projections on all 50 states and scale of the challenge each faces due (mostly) to the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Among a number of other needs, the study will make the case that America desperately needs better K-12 results as soon as possible.

5 Questions with Matthew Ladner About School Choice

This week is National School Choice Week, a time to celebrate expanding educational choices around the nation, inform communities and support efforts to help more families choose the educational environment best for their children. Senior Advisor of Policy and Research for the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) Dr. Matthew Ladner recently answered five questions […]

The Magic of Turning a Page

Guest blog by Rian Meadows of Tallahassee, Fla. It is Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Each year, we dedicate seven days to recognizing and encouraging the journey of literacy for Florida’s children. Reading opens up a world of thoughts and experiences. It introduces us to new people and places – past, present and even future. The […]

Teachers, Students and Politicians Unite for Nation’s Largest School Choice Celebration

Last Friday, I was privileged to attend the official launch of National School Choice Week at the historic Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, Fla. Along with a capacity crowd of 1,900 other students, parents, teachers, community leaders and education advocates, we kicked off what is certain to be the largest celebration of school choice in history. […]

A-F School Grades Inform and Engage

The National Education Policy Center has issued a report on the use of A-F letter grades in school accountability systems. As expected, given its close affiliation with teachers unions and its opposition to education reforms in general, the NEPC was critical. “Expressing school quality via a single composite grade is flawed,” the report says. But interestingly enough, the NEPC says nothing about states expressing school quality through a single, composite label. For example, many states classify schools with confusing terms such as Distinguished, Academic Watch or Priority.

New Hope for Simon’s Future

Before the PLSA program, I felt extremely limited in the resources I could offer my child. We are a one-income family and there is not much left to go around for books and expensive curriculum, not to mention a computer or an iPad. Now, with the flexibility a PLSA allows, I am so hopeful for Simon’s future.

Setting the Record Straight

We believe states should embrace a variety of education choices, expand those that advance student achievement and weed out those that do not.

It is our hope that one day naysayers will put aside rhetoric, embrace a student-centered education system and engage in an education transformation that will provide America’s students the quality education they deserve.

In Case You Missed It: Senator Nancy Collins calls for customized education for special needs students in Mississippi at #EIE14

“The injustice that was caused should not be forgotten.” At ExcelinEd’s 2014 National Summit on Education Reform, Senator Nancy Collins stressed the critical need for educational options for special needs students in Mississippi. During the Summit, Senator Collins shared a story about Ericka, a deaf and blind Mississippi student who spent 15 years in the public school system […]

The Futures of My Daughters Are Too Precious to Waste

If you knew your local public school had no intention of meeting the needs of your child, what would you do? When I had this realization, I decided to advocate for change. Not just at the local level, but state-wide change.

The Right Mix of Autonomy and Accountability for School Choice Programs

One question has preoccupied the school choice community for many years. What is the best way – if any – to measure student learning in choice programs?

Don’t let a piece of paper place children in an educational box

Don’t let a piece of paper place children in an educational box based on their diagnosis. As more families access PLSAs, I know more will see that all children can succeed if we are able to think outside the box and create an education that truly fits the needs of each unique child.

Mississippi Mother: “I was not going to let my sons become yet another tragic statistic”

The benefits of this new school are significant, but so is the financial burden for the school’s tuition. Unfortunately the cost of a custom-made education is not an option for every parent, yet the prospect of a 23 percent chance at graduation is not an option either.

School Choice Is the Answer to Education Inequality

Beginning January 25th,  families across the nation will celebrate the fifth annual National School Choice Week. Stay tuned to The EdFly Blog for more on school choice this month, and visit SchoolChoiceWeek.com to find events in your area. I sometimes wish we could change the name of National School Choice Week to National Parent Equality Week. […]

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