Rand: Be Cautious About Personalized Learning

There is evidence suggesting that personalized learning can generate modest gains in math and reading scores, according to a report by the RAND Corporation.

The study is one of the most comprehensive ongoing studies to date on personalized learning—a trend whose popularity and backing from philanthropists, venture capitalists, and the ed-tech industry outpaces its evidence base, according to some experts.

RAND researchers issued a strong cautionary note asserting that personalized learning remains hard to distinguish, harder to implement, and even harder to expand and replicate across schools.

Website Allows Public to Track School $pending

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has launched a new website, Financial Transparency for Colorado Schools, which allows side-by-side comparisons of things like district budgets, quarterly financial statements, and salary schedules among schools and school districts.

Colorado Education Association President Kerrie Dallman cautions that while the website allows for greater transparency for community members, it is somewhat limited and “it doesn’t give you the full picture.”

CDE officials say they are “aware of concerns about the website, and it likely will be revamped this year.”

Los Angeles School Board Members Will Make up to $125,000

Los Angeles Board of Education members have been given a 174 percent raise that went into effect in September. The action will provide full-time board members an increase to $125,000 a year from $45,637. The LAUSD Board of Education Compensation Review Committee sets the board’s pay every five years.

School District Nixes Homework for Elementary Students

The Marion County School District in central Florida will be eliminating homework assignments in its elementary schools. Instead of homework, parents will be asked to read with their children for 20 minutes every evening.

School district official Kevin Christian said the rule is not “100 percent absolute,” adding, “We are just talking about the everyday homework assignment that a lot of people feel is just homework for the sake of homework.”