As I noted in a blog post yesterday, public school districts began innovating with blended learning before most charter schools did, but charter schools pioneering blended learning get far more attention for their innovations.
To call attention to some district schools that have adopted blended learning and boosted student outcomes, we at the Christensen Institute have partnered with the Evergreen Education Group to profile district schools with measurable positive student results from having adopted blended learning.
The first batch of profiles features six schools.
Kenneth Grover founded Innovations Early College High School, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to boost the district’s graduation rate—its three high schools were losing 10 percent of their students every year. With its Flex model of blended learning, the school boasted a graduation rate of 89 percent for its 2014 graduation cohort.
The Poudre School District Global Academy opened in 2009 to provide a flexible schooling option. Based on student growth measures in several different grade levels and subject areas, the school is ranked as the first or second best school in the district and is in the top 5 percent of all schools in the state.
The Virtual Instruction to Accentuate Learning program in Putnam County Schools in Cookeville, Tenn., has used blended learning to improve the district’s graduation rate and help hundreds of students gain college credits while in high school.
The elementary school in the Randolph Central School District uses blended learning to actually differentiate instruction and has significantly improved its students’ math scores on state assessments.
Spokane Public Schools has used blended learning for many years; its graduation rate has risen from 60 percent in 2007 to 83 percent in 2014.
And the Spring City Elementary Hybrid Learning School in Spring City, Penn., has bolstered its test scores in math, reading, and science since implementing a Station Rotation model of blended learning.
These are all exciting stories worth telling. My Evergreen Education colleague John Watson, who led the research, has done a good job distilling several of the lessons behind these schools’ successes in a series of blog posts that chronicle the importance of leadership in blended learning; the critical role in-person teachers and mentors—not just monitors—play; the persistence district schools must have as they navigate the inevitable bumps on the road to implementing successfully blended learning; and the important role data plays.
– Michael Horn