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  • Writer's pictureRachel Langan

Redefining K12 Education and the Rise of Bottom-Up Education Models

“Americans don’t want ‘better’; they want different,” said Todd Rose, a former Harvard Graduate School of Education professor and the cofounder of Populace. “They want a way out of the one-size-fits-all approach driven by standardized testing models and elite institutions making us compete in a zero-sum game and instead an educational framework geared towards individualized learning, practical skills, and preparation for a meaningful life.”

Yesterday we asked what we're getting for the $302 million WCASD budget. Today we're looking at what's possible when parents and teachers take matters into their own hands.

Forbes* recently wrote about how K12 education is being reimagined in simple but profound ways. Some are parents trying to solve an educational problem for their own

families who decide to bring others along with them. Others are teachers who became fed up with one-size-fits-all standard schooling and set out to create better options. All are ordinary people who have taken on the extraordinary challenge of transforming K-12 education from the bottom up, with small, neighborhood solutions that are having a big, nationwide impact.

Increasingly, these solutions feature out-of-the-box learning models that challenge the traditional schooling status quo. They are learning pods and homeschool collaboratives that bring together local families for shared instruction. They are hybrid schools that offer part-time, drop-off classes for homeschoolers. They are microschools, which are intentionally small, mixed-age learning settings with hired educators that emphasize individualized, mastery-based learning. They are low-cost private schools that prioritize personalized learning. They are small, public charter schools that seek to innovate while offering a tuition-free option for families. They are virtual platforms, coaching services, tutoring centers, and similar programs that make it easier for parents and learners to step outside of a conventional classroom and enable each individual learner to flourish.

Parents want new and different education options. They want alternatives to the traditional school system. “Our research affirmed something we at VELA already knew: that unconventional education is for everyone — not just for white, affluent families.”

Find out more by going here and here.

*Blog excerpts taken from the publications linked on this page.


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