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A? Developmental? Path? To? Text? Quality?

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Journal of Literacy Research, Ahead of Print.
Writing development in early schooling can reveal much about the bigger picture of writing development. As any epoch in life, it presents its own dynamics that intersect with wider social, psychological, and language processes; follows on early epochs; and leads to later accomplishments. In addition, it is particularly strategic to untangle complex relations between technical and communicative abilities, and between curriculum and personal development. But to untangle these puzzles, we need to be careful in not assuming particular solutions implied in our terms. To place the studies here and elsewhere in relation to the broader and more complex investigation of writing development, this essay interrogates each term in the thematic title of this special issue.
Source: Journal of Literacy

The post A? Developmental? Path? To? Text? Quality? appeared first on GMM Kindergarten | Learn. Grow. Become.

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15/07/2019 |

The Challenge of Paying for a New Kind of Learning – by Marguerite Roza

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Wouldn’t it be great if we had to pay for instruction only when we had evidence that students actually learned something?

That’s the thinking behind proposals that some states are considering to pay for competency-based learning—programs that allow students to master academic content unconstrained by time, place or pace, often in online or digital environments.

This desire to reduce risk and provide some guarantee of student learning is underscored by weak results among some online providers. Given these concerns, states are considering what’s known as “completion-based funding,” – funding that a) is “earmarked” only for personalized learning, and b) includes a performance-pay element, meaning that schools or providers only get the full cash owed for services after they provide evidence of student learning.

While this new funding mechanism may seem like a promising idea at first blush, structuring funding in this way could actually do more harm than good.

My own daughter’s experience offers an example. The rural Wisconsin school she attended didn’t offer Latin. To try to meet her needs, the school worked with a tiny, nonprofit online Latin program. The school then structured the arrangement so she was set up for success: Latin was part of her official school schedule, treated just like a real course taken in a supervised classroom (even though she was working solo on the computer), and regularly followed up on with her advisor to track progress. As a parent, I could see that the extra structure was critical in keeping her motivated and, ultimately, making it a successful experience.

But here’s the problem: I doubt my daughter’s school would’ve taken the risk on the online program if they had been in an arrangement where they didn’t get paid by the state unless my daughter mastered Latin II. And I doubt the online Latin provider, who had no idea if the school would do their part to ensure success, would have taken the chance on completion-based payment either. And yet, this is exactly the kind of solution-based innovation that will ultimately produce promising new practices.

Completion-based funding policies could be an easy sell to state lawmakers eager to fund more personalized learning— but they’re a short-sighted, and ultimately self-defeating, approach.

One problem is that earmarked funds are particularly susceptible to budget cuts. Like the poor kid who unwittingly sports a “kick me” sign on his back, stand-alone funding programs tend to wear a “cut me” sign when budgets get tight. Competency-based learning programs today serve just a fraction of K-12 students. Cutting a program that doesn’t serve all students is much easier than going after funding that affects the entire student population. If the goal is to make competency-based learning approaches more sustainable, creating a conspicuous target for cuts does the opposite.

Plus, most states are shedding so-called earmarks or categoricals (program allocations that only apply to certain segments of the student population). In 2013, California rolled up dozens of these categoricals and folded the money into a single state formula that deployed funds to districts on the basis of students and …read more    

14/07/2019 |
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