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The Edfly Blog’s 10 Greatest Hits of 2014

• ExcelinEd

The Edfly Blog’s 10 Greatest Hits of 2014

It’s been a great year #OnTheFly! The EdFly Blog showcases perspectives, victories and changes happening across the education reform landscape by examining news stories, policy-in-action updates, critical analysis of education news, and star reformers profiles.

Take a look back at some of this year’s highlights in The Edfly Blog’s 10 Greatest Hits of 2014 below.

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Mission Dolores Academy Puts a Renewed Focus on Students through Blended Learning
Clare Crowson

Once struggling, this school is increasing enrollment, holding the line on costs, and improving student learning. Mission Dolores Academy isn’t just surviving, it’s thriving. And it is doing so by adopting a blended learning model, one that provides children access to computers, using topflight educational software, along with instructional time in a standard classroom.

Student Success Depends on Testing and Accountability
Patricia Levesque, CEO, ExcelinEd

I remember well the education landscape before accountability. Teachers and kids went to their classrooms, but whether the former were effective or the latter learned anything was optional and unknown. The result was that disadvantaged students fell through the cracks by the millions.

Mom Blew It
Patricia Levesque, CEO, ExcelinEd

Speaking at the Summit, Amanda said we need to send the right signals to students about failure. We need to teach them at a young age that failure and struggle are OK, that it happens all the time, but that we can work hard to improve and earn success.

Transforming Education for Students with Unique Abilities: Applications for Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts Now Available 
Senator Andy Gardiner, Florida Senate President

We know that parents are their children’s first and best educators. Through the PLSA Program, the state is not only empowering parents of children with unique abilities to make critical choices concerning their children’s educational goals, but also providing the specific resources to make those goals a reality.

How a Great Florida Principal Turned Around a Failing School 
Mike Thomas, Executive Speech Writer and Editor, ExcelinEd

I’ve been involved in education for almost 15 years, most of that as a journalist. And I’ve noticed commonalities among successful principals in Title 1 schools. They have a passion for disadvantaged students. They don’t want to go to the suburbs. They can create the desire to learn in kids who grew up without books, or books not written in English. They understand the power of earned rewards to stoke that desire.

What I Learned in Prison Libraries
Alex Kelly, Regional Advocacy Director, Gulf Coast States, ExcelinEd

The truth is though that the young and old in state custody have hopes and ideas too for who they might be one day. The realization of a pathway to literacy is empowering for both third graders, as it is for adults who are still learning to read. I am just thankful that more and more policymakers are realizing that it is better for self-worth and society to achieve these goals as third graders.

Accountability in Education: How Design Can Accelerate Innovation
Omid Jahanbin, 
CEO of Rennzer, The My School Information Design Challenge Runner-up

In education, it doesn’t matter if you are a taxpayer, business owner, parent or all of the above. Rising costs, quality of learning, inequality, accountability and competitiveness are challenges we all must work together to engage.

Groceries and Education: Too Important Not to Be Left to the Market
Adam Peshek, State Policy Director of School Choice, ExcelinEd

As important as education is, you would have a hard time arguing that it is more important than ensuring that there is food on the table. So, if education is too important to be left to market, then surely we can’t allow evil profit motive and competition to ensure that Americans are provided with the quality, affordable food they need to live.

Open Letter from Patricia Levesque: Accountability Drives Results
Patricia Levesque, CEO, ExcelinEd

School improvement requires multiple approaches, centered on accountability for adults and school choice for parents. Simply put, the system responds differently when student achievement is regarded as mandatory rather than optional, and when parents have alternatives to failing neighborhood schools.

The Impact of a High Expectations Culture in Schools
Kate Wallace, Director of Community Engagement, AFloridaPromise

These students want to be challenged in a way that stretches their abilities and allows them to display their gained knowledge. Opponents of testing would have you believe otherwise.

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