Baltimore weathers its own ed-tech storm due to poor communication between the district and the teachers union.  I don’t think that, long-term, this will be as disastrous as LA’s botched iPad rollout but it will get things off to a rocky start in a district that can ill-afford to lose time reaching its most disadvantaged population

From CompetencyWorks: piecing it all together.  “If we really want to have students demonstrate proficiency, we need to allow them to put the pieces back together, apply the knowledge, and demonstrate true understanding of the concepts and skills desired in the standards.”

Rocketship tries out different model first the labs didn’t work (which was obvious), then the room-to-room rotational model didn’t work as well for the students once they moved on to middle school, and now the within-room differentiated learning is tried.

Shelby County (TN) goes digital with blended learning rollout in 16 schools

Andy Smarick is a Partner at Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. A “new years resolution” of sorts from one of the leading ed reform advocates.  He hopes to hand out more pats on the back in 2014, as do I.  From Fordham’s Gadfly, here is his roll call of the best of 2013.

Former NC Governor Bev Perdue talks digital and blended learning.  Some more current governors need to speak out like this.

Michael Petrilli: the conservative case for the Common Core only two comments? Amazing!  At some point, conservatives supporting Common Core will need to engage their ideological brethren who oppose it, without blowing off their concerns in a single sentence.

Clean Tech Early College gets grant located in the Saratoga area of Upstate New York full disclosure: during my time at KnowledgeWorks, its EdWorks affiliate launched this and other New York Early College High Schools, including P-TECH. Related: P-TECH moving forward Upstate (way Upstate, really)

BONUS LINK: perhaps the mother of all “Great Moments in Seat Time Instruction” videos from Pink Floyd no less.