News and Events
Message from our New Executive Director Andrea Venezia
It is an honor to become the Executive Director of IHELP. As our nation’s schools and colleges focus on supporting student success post-high school, this is a time of great experimentation within all of our public educational institutions. Never before have our schools and postsecondary institutions both faced such scrutiny. This focus has led to a great deal of intensive reform efforts. From the implementation of the Common Core State Standards to the development of structured curricular pathways within both high schools and colleges, this is a time of great policy and practice “swirl.” Amidst all the reform efforts, K-12 and postsecondary are collaborating more than ever before, and IHELP is poised to help those efforts. IHELP is well-positioned to continue its long-standing higher education policy work, while also branching out into other areas, including conducting applied research on high school reforms efforts, providing technical assistance, and doing evaluations of both programs and of systemic reforms efforts. This expanded scope of work will draw on the strength of our staff to provide research-based support and analyses for both practitioners and policymakers and on a group of senior consultants to augment our in-house staffing. Our focus will remain on postsecondary and career readiness and success for traditionally underserved students. If you have questions about our current projects and future plans, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Social Policy Report: Common Core Development and Substance
This new brief published by the Society for Research in Child Development uses research and literature to provide an overview of the Common Core Standards, including its development and implementation, its relationship to college and career readiness and its effects on educational practice. On pages 16-17 of the brief, Andrea Venezia provided a commentary entitled, "Tracking Common Core Implementation in California," in which she discusses key challenges of implementation for grades 9-14 and provides an overview of some of California's work in this area.
Innovations Designed for Deeper Learning in Higher Education
This new report written by Andrea Venezia examines technology-enabled innovations at seven postsecondary institutions in the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Building Blocks for College Completion grant program. Using the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Deeper Learning as a reference point, this report analyzes the innovations and approaches of the grantees in promoting Deeper Learning and student engagement in higher education. The grantees adopted various innovations including supplementing existing courses, supporting the adoption of blended learning and complete course redesign. The brief's findings indicate that students need support to transition to the more active role in their own learning that Deeper Learning demands and that faculty need support, training, and time to create, implement, and sustain the technology-enabled reforms.
This publication by Jodi Lewis closes the series "Next Gen Tools," a collection of briefs that examine technology tools and strategies in use by Next Generation Learning Challenge grantees to support K-12 and postsecondary student success. The final publication focuses on "Spark," a data integration tool created at Matchbook Learning to support its student-centered, mastery-based, blended learning school model. The tool integrates multiple points of student data from various online resource and assessment providers on a daily basis. Spark provides teachers with a one-stop view of a student's proficiency to help inform instructional strategy, and to help teachers group students for future learning opportunities.
In this Next Generation Learning Challenges blog, Jodi Lewis addresses the hope of technology-enabled practices to improve college and career readiness, the challenges associated with these strategies, and the evidence we need to know whether they're helping students drive their own learning.