A growing number of commercial and nonprofit efforts are slowly emerging to create a shared set of expectations for vendors and school officials for judging the quality of products.
States and districts are under mounting pressure from parents and policymakers to cut the number of tests students take, but also to make assessments more meaningful.
The Facebook CEO’s $45 billion philanthropic and investment effort has already included significant backing of for-profit companies such as AltSchool, Ellevation, MasteryConnect, and Newsela.
Ed-tech companies conducting research often miss critical steps in gathering information about their products’ effectiveness, and the experiences of teachers and students using them.
For companies submitting products for reviews, the gold standard is to get two rankings of five stars—one from Graphite’s staff of internal educator/reviewers, and the other from teachers who are using the tools in their classrooms and evaluating them.
District leaders are adding accountability provisions in their contracts with vendors around student data privacy, interoperability, standards alignment, and “up time.”
The sweeping new federal education law could have big implications for state and local spending on school interventions, tutoring, classroom technology, academic content, and other priorities.
“Personalization” has become the norm in districts trying to customize digital tools, instruction, and schedules to meet individual students’ needs. But K-12 leaders are also demanding customization in another area: professional development.
K-12 systems are telling publishers and other content producers to give them materials for English-language learners that are more challenging, and tailored to specific grade spans and academic subjects.
The push for “interoperability” is forcing content providers to make important decisions—about which standards to adopt or ignore, how much time and money to devote to that work, and how to anticipate and adjust to shifting district demands.