A call for self-directed learning: originally published in Salon and then in Readers Digest. “Of course, not everyone will learn the same things, in the same way, or at the same time. That’s good. Our society thrives on diversity. We need people with different skills, interests, and personalities. Most of all, we need people who pursue life with passion and who take responsibility for themselves throughout life.” Absolutely.

Related: Oklahoma is considering proficiency-based promotion. New Secretary of Education Bob Sommers, a former advisor to Governor Kasich here in Ohio, will lead the way towards new grading and promotion systems. I met Bob when he was a career-technical center director and spent an afternoon with him getting a tour and hearing his ideas.  He is ten years ahead of everyone else.  It was a lot to digest in one sitting in 2009.

 BBC launches iWonder digital learning initiative, which is “an initiative designed to unlock the learning potential of all BBC content, beginning with a series of interactive guides linked to its World War One season.”

Wisconsin leading the way in competency learning “Thanks to pressure from Gov. Scott Walker, the UW Flexible Option is now available online and students will be charged for a kind of “all you can eat” subscription, three months at a time for$2,250. The Milwaukee campus is now offering degrees in nursing, diagnostic imaging and information science and technology. “

In NW Ohio, my old stomping grounds, Sylvania Excellence Foundation begins hard drive for computers:  a suburb of Toledo, Sylvania is noted for its academic excellence.  The community has resources but the wealthier members tend to send their kids to private schools and it’s hard to make a case based on need with Toledo Public Schools so close by.  Fortunately, there are resources to help this district and others facing similar challenges in their decision-making and many of these questions have been asked and answered already.

Related: in South Carolina school, tablets go home, students pay extra.  “The next step in the (Beaufort County) district’s tablet program will start with middle school students. The district will charge each student a $20 usage fee for the tablets at the start of next school year.”

Related II: suburban Chicago district pulls out of blended consortium for financial reasons “The consortium called for implementing 10 online classes for high school students starting in the 2014-15 school year. Classes would include algebra, U.S. history, health, consumer economics, government, geometry, English and elective options such as language study (Mandarin Chinese) or a technology course.”

Florida Editorial: don’t fear the future. Florida is among the leaders in blended learning and online assessments.   

In NYC, school leaders ignored pleas of teachers for years.  The principal has some serious behavior and management issues. 

Governor Cuomo calls for more schools like P-TECH Early College in Brooklyn.  Since its founding, this particular strain of the Early College model has earned praise from many in New York and Washington, including President Obama and Secretary Duncan.   New York’s current mayor isn’t as supportive.   More information on P-TECH can be found here.  Full disclosure: I worked with the people at KnowlegeWorks and their EdWorks subsidiary who founded P-TECH.  

BONUS LINK- having saluted Dr. King in a bonus link on his actual birthday last week, I thought about skipping the bonus link altogether. This link will be available in dozens of places today and my usual inclination would be to dig for something new, a different camera angle, perhaps some in-color footage, or coverage in another language.  No chance, it speaks for itself.