Online Discussion: School Choice a la CarteOctober 7, 2009 - October 8, 2009
Currently, choice in education is generally limited to choosing aschool: Public or private school? Charter or neighborhood school? If grocery stores offered the same limited choices, shoppers would have to choose, for instance, among Whole Foods, Safeway, or Wal-Mart. But in reality, shoppers can (and do) patronize all three, making their decision based on their specific needs and the store's particular strengths. This way, shoppers are much more likely to get exactly what they need.
Learning is obviously much more complex than grocery shopping, but what if choices in education could be extended in a similar way?
Clayton Christensen's book Disrupting Class has gained much attention for its prediction that disruptive innovation will revolutionize how we educate students, much in the way iTunes has changed the music industry with its more customer-focused approach to delivery.
But while virtual education is likely to become a large part of the future of school choice, increased customization in education doesn't have to happen only online. There are endless possibilities to reorganize the delivery of education and to offer both students and teachers more choice and customization within the public schools.
Education Sector is pleased to host an online discussion October 7-8, 2009, to explore how new technologies and opportunities for learning are changing the context of education and to analyze whether educational choice can evolve beyond the current school-centered vision to offer greater customization for all students within a public system.
This discussion will feature: Education Sector's Erin Dillon andBill Tucker; Courtney Bell of Educational Testing Services;Julie Evans of Project Tomorrow; Curt Johnson of Education/Evolving and co-author of Disrupting Class; Brian Dixon, teacher and director of High Tech High's Flex program; and Tom Vander Ark of Vander Ark/Ratcliff Partners and former executive director of education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.