I believe that personalized learning will dramatically increase student engagement and achievement.
But, as I noted in my review of the recent Rand study on personalized learning, my guess it that, right now, the standard practices of high-performing charter schools are still driving much of the gains we see in great schools, even those that use personalized learning.
But I do think this will change as personalization, coupled with the technology that enables it, continues to improve.
But there are two under discussed issues with personalization that are worth touching on.
Personalized Learning Will Accelerate Relinquishment
Here is how the New York Times covers non-profit high-performing charter schools that serve low-income students:
Here is how the New York Times covers for-profit private schools that use personalized learning to serve rich students:
Get the point?
Personalization is the apple pie of education reform. Everyone loves it.
In case you haven’t noticed, not everyone loves common core, teacher evaluations, charter schools, etc.
Right now, No Excuses charters aren’t offering anything that most of America really wants.
By offering something that everybody wants, personalized learning schools may change the politics of education reform.
Over the long-run, it would not shock me if Alt-School is the gateway drug to vouchers.
Relinquishment Will Accelerate Personalized Learning
The top personalized learning schools are, for the most part, either charter schools or private schools.
This is not shocking.
New ideas and models are best brought into existence by entrepreneurs, and charter schools and private schools are much better vehicles for entrepreneurship than are government monopolies.
The more relinquishment we have -> the more entrepreneurs we’ll have -> the more innovative schools models we’ll have -> and, eventually, the more high-quality adopters we’ll have at scale.
I strongly believe that creating relinquished school systems is amongst the highest ROI strategies we have to increase personalized learning. Direct investment in entrepreneurs (in both the school operation and technology sectors) is probably the only other strategy that even comes close.
Of course, the two strategies are best executed in tandem.
Personalized learning will beget relinquishment.
Relinquishment will beget personalized learning.