What We’re Watching: Expanding the Education Universe

In this video, Michael Brickman discusses “course choice” and ways that policymakers can promote it.  The video is based on a new Fordham Institute report, Expanding the Education Universe: A Fifty-State Strategy for Course Choice.

Course choice policies allow students to take a wide range of courses from a wide range of different providers.  As Michael Brickman explains

Rather than asking kids in need of a better shake to change homes, forsake their friends, or take long bus rides, course choice enables them to learn from the best teachers in the state or nation. And it grants them access to an array of course offerings that no one school can realistically gather under its roof. It also offers something for schools and teachers: a new revenue opportunity for schools and additional income for public-school teachers. How many Sal Khans are in our schools today just waiting for an opportunity to teach online?

As might be expected, online learning is part of the package, but course choice goes further: it allows K–12 students to learn from unconventional providers that might range from top-tier universities or innovative community colleges to local employers, labs, or hospitals. Moreover, these options can meet students where they are—in terms of geography, interest, and prior achievement—and, if designed properly, can fit the political and cultural contours of each community.

Tom Arnett and Michael Horn have written about course choice on the Ed Next blog here and here.

—Education Next

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