New Designs for School
New Designs for School

We’ve all had the experience of truly purposeful, authentic learning and know how valuable it is. Educators are taking the best of what we know about learning, student support, effective instruction, and interpersonal skill-building to completely reimagine schools so that students experience that kind of purposeful learning all day, every day.

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In this article from The 74 on February 13, Kate Stringer reports on findings from a study of the financial sustainability of personalized learning schools in Chicago. The six schools in the study received funding from the NGLC Regional Fund for Breakthrough Schools: Chicago in 2014 and 2015.

A new analysis of Chicago public schools found that teachers, rather than technology, are the most important factor in creating sustainable personalized learning models — especially when they rely on teacher leaders who have more authority in their classrooms.

“That reaffirms that personalized learning is not about technology — it’s about changing teacher and school practices in support of better outcomes,” said Tim Carnahan, director of programs at LEAP Innovations, a national personalized learning organization based in Chicago that released the report.

Principals called teachers the most important asset in implementing personalized learning, the report authors found. “Teachers remain the most critical resource in personalized learning models,” Carnahan said.

The analysis — conducted by the education consulting firm Afton Partners — looked at six district and charter schools in Chicago’s Breakthrough Schools Initiative and found that although upfront costs were 7 percent of per-pupil funding, after five years they were 2 percent of the school’s budget. Startup costs ranged from $338,000 to $780,000 at each school.

Read the article.

Download the report.

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