The times they are a-changin’

Matt Ladner predicts an education renaissance now that nearly a fourth of K-12 students are attending public and private alternatives to their neighborhood school.

In the past, a lack of data enabled stagnation. Armchair observations of real-estate agents were often the most sophisticated opinions regarding the quality of local schools. Today, online services like provide a mountain of comparative testing and parental review data in a few short clicks.

New technologies and practices, such as self-paced computer-based instruction and data-based merit pay for instructors, hold enormous promise which has only begun to be explored. That said, disadvantaged children in KIPP Academy schools, among others, have achieved phenomenal academic results not with new technologies, but rather with old-fashioned “time on task” hard work and extended school days.

In short, we now have the primordial soup of a market for schools.

Via Edspresso.

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  1. “primordial soup of a market for schools”?

    That’s a little purple for my taste not to mention a bit premature.

    The, uh, ingredients for that primordial soup are starting to come together but the real breaks with past practice haven’t shown up yet, nor the sorts of efficiencies I’d expect from the exercise of a free market. But the pieces are starting to come together.