Colorado K-12 Funding for the 21st Century: Toward Mass Customized Learning?

I’m a little bit tired today, having Tweeted up a storm at the Donnell-Kay Foundation’s Colorado Summit on Blended Learning. I have neither the time nor the energy to recap the great presentations from the likes of iNACOL’s David Teeter, Utah Senator Howard Stephenson, New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner Paul Leather, Colorado Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Amy Anderson and Colorado Senator Michael Johnston.

But I can take advantage of the incredible timing to share a brand-new issue paper from my Education Policy Center friends titled Online Course-Level Funding: Toward Colorado Secondary Self-Blended Learning Options. It’s about following the lead of states like Utah and Florida to give students more freedom of course selection through the power of digital technology and a system that allows the funding to follow:

To win support for significant statewide changes, a cross-section of 10 or more school districts could be selected to pilot the program locally. Yet regardless of how rapidly it is implemented, Colorado needs to empower students to direct funds among numerous effective course options to help fulfill the potential of blended learning and to unleash new opportunities to improve students’ academic development.

In essence, the report focuses on one key area of systemic change that needs to take place in our state’s antique education system. Which made it altogether fitting that Donnell-Kay executive director Tony Lewis closed the meeting with a call to move beyond the focus on using tools like blended learning to improve education and instead take on the major task of systemic transformation. Count me on board, and let me nominate mass customized learning as a possible term to describe what Colorado should be after.

I need to investigate the thinking behind the term a little more myself. Meanwhile, let the conversation begin, er, continue….