In Times of Change, Here’s How Education Entrepreneurs Can Build Organizations That Last – Triple Pundit

Though education entrepreneurs may differ in their opinions of President Donald Trump and the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, they can agree on one thing: This new administration will mean a significant shift in American education policy. Because federal education policy impacts school budgets, standards, curriculum and evaluation metrics, a new public policy direction can have a major impact on education organizations and entrepreneurs. This impact is especially pertinent for those who define their business model narrowly on one set of policies which, if repealed or modified, can force education organizations to completely redefine themselves. The rise and fall of Common Core? While the election of President Trump means a potentially favorable rollback of regulations for businesses in other industries, the rollback in education standards may not be so favorable for organizations invested in education. Consider Common Core standards, which President Trump has pledged to eliminate, and DeVos also claimed she does not support. With $200 million in start-up money from the Gates Foundation and $4.35 billion in Race to the Top federal grants to support its implementation and adoption, the Common Core aspired to serve as a universal framework for standards-based education. While controversial and often misunderstood from the start, Common Core garnered both conservative and liberal support for a more rigorous set of national college and career readiness standards that would lift public education in America. Swept up in this tremendous gravitational pull of education reform and private and federal funding, many education companies rushed to align to Common Core in their curriculum, assessments, and professional development services to help teachers and school leaders adapt to the new standards. An explosion of entrepreneurship followed as education companies large and small retooled entire curricula and technologies to serve as vendors to states and districts making the Common Core transition. As support of Common Core declines, not only are these companies at risk of failing, but the students, teachers and school leaders using their products could also lose valuable time and resources. The dilemma highlights two inherent problems in education reform: The deep-seated frustration of educators who strive to build sustainable growth in their schools but are repeatedly undermined by changes outside of their controlThe risk that education entrepreneurs take on in building educational services that are too narrowly tied to policies in flux In the end, then, no matter the party in power, education entrepreneurs should strive to build businesses that can withstand policy change. Preparing for change So how can education entrepreneurs weather upcoming policy changes and provide services and resources to help schools do the same? Education entrepreneurs should spend the time to gain a thorough understanding of existing policy and potential policy changes and avoid building their offerings to serve one given policy exclusively. Entrepreneurs should develop products or services of lasting value that can persist even in light of likely policy change and stand the test of time. Ultimately, the most important thing for any education organization to do is to hone in on [...]

By |2017-02-28T15:38:49+00:00February 28, 2017|News, Press|Comments Off on In Times of Change, Here’s How Education Entrepreneurs Can Build Organizations That Last – Triple Pundit

Increase Your Reading Endurance (SAT Series Week 2)

The Illinois April 5th state-mandated SAT is now six weeks away. With all Illinois public school students sitting for that SAT, we want to offer a series of weekly insights along the way to help you prepare. This week’s focus: are your students getting in enough reading rounds? We understand the value of getting in enough rounds when it comes to a sport like boxing. For a title fight, if you want to “go the distance,” that means conditioning yourself to fight for 12 3-minute rounds, 36 total minutes of demanding physical exertion. Obviously, if you get in only 8 to 10 rounds in your training, you’d be poorly prepared, and outcomes will most likely be poor. If you appreciate the value of conditioning, then, like many boxing experts, you don’t take very seriously Conor McGregor, the UFC’s reigning champion, and his recent bid to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr., the greatest boxer of the last 25 years. As an MMA athlete, McGregor fights for 3 or 5 5-minute rounds, 15 to 25 total minutes of output, while Mayweather for the last 7 of his 49 fights has gone the distance of 36 minutes and won every time. How can you beat Mayweather’s experience in enduring that vital 11 to 21 extra minutes of intense fighting? I think you can’t. Let’s extend our MMA/boxing analogy to reading. Illinois public high school students for the past 15 years have all sat for a 35-minute ACT reading section on the state-mandated ACT in the spring of junior year. In School Year 2016-17, that ACT has changed to the SAT, and “going the distance” means something entirely new. The Redesigned SAT features a 65-minute reading section, and the number of passages has grown from 4 to 5. So, our reading gladiators have entered a new arena, and the endurance requirement of their sport has changed: a reading rumble that involved 4 rounds of approximately 9 minutes of reading on the ACT has now transformed to 5 rounds of 13 minutes of reading on the SAT. Students need to adjust to 30 continuous extra minutes of intense focus on comprehending complex texts. This challenge raises some important questions: How are our students training? Are they getting in enough reading rounds? How long do your students sit for and read complex texts? And let me specify: without interruption! With average class lengths of about 50 minutes, it is most likely that during the school day students have no comparable experience of reading and reasoning continuously for 65 minutes. In the weeks prior to the April 5th SAT, how can we intensify the training? A practice test to simulate the exact reading conditions of the test; offering more in-class reading activities that simulate timed 13-minute rounds of reading bursts to prepare for the passage-by-passage experience; full class period reading activities that train focus and endurance and comprehension. As educators, we know that mindless drilling does not lead to improvement and repetition alone does not lead to [...]

By |2017-02-22T22:45:15+00:00February 22, 2017|SAT SP, School Programs, Special|0 Comments

The Principal Center Radio: Matthew Pietrafetta, Founder of Academic Approach, joins host Justin Baeder to discuss college entrance exam prep for underserved communities.

Matthew Pietrafetta joins Justin Baeder to discuss college entrance exam prep for underserved communities.

By |2017-02-13T15:59:05+00:00February 13, 2017|News, Press|Comments Off on The Principal Center Radio: Matthew Pietrafetta, Founder of Academic Approach, joins host Justin Baeder to discuss college entrance exam prep for underserved communities.
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