Charter School Group Asks for School Improvement Grant Flexibility to Expand Access to High-Quality Schools



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a new report with recommendations to help students more quickly access high-quality public schools. The policy paper outlines a set of proposals that would allow states to use School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to open new and expand existing high-quality public charter schools.

In January 2014, Congress took action to broaden states’ uses of SIG funds. As the Department of Education considers how to best implement this more flexible authority, public charter schools are well suited to help states and districts provide more high-quality seats to the students they serve.

“Far too many students are trapped in low-achieving schools,” said National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees. “This new freedom provided by Congress gives us an opportunity to rethink how we can improve our public schools and we encourage policymakers to consider our proposal. Charter schools with a proven track record of success are in a unique position to help ensure more students get the opportunity to attend a high-quality public school.”

Under current regulations, states can only use their SIG funds to make awards to Local Education Agencies to implement one of four SIG models. Regulations do not permit states to award funds directly to high-performing public charter schools to open new schools, and provide little flexibility to leverage turnaround funds to attract high-quality school leaders and develop district or citywide improvement strategies.

“Each year that a child spends in our nation’s lowest-performing schools is one year too many,” continued Rees. “We hope policymakers will take a serious and careful look at the ways we can improve the School Improvement Grant program so that more students are able to attend a high-quality public school.”

Click here to read Using School Improvement Grant Funds to Increase Access to High-Quality Public Schools.

About Public Charter Schools

Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, all but one independent research study has found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at 


The PublicSchoolWORKS Crisis Response Program Wins Silver
Stevie Award in 2014 American Business Awards

The automated school safety program named New Product or Service of the Year for Governance, Risk & Compliance Software Solution


Cincinnati, OH (September 18, 2014) — The PublicSchoolWORKS Crisis Response Program, an emergency preparedness solution for staff and students, has won a 2014 Silver Stevie® Award for New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Governance, Risk & Compliance Solution.


PublicSchoolWORKS is the only provider of school-focused safety and compliance online management solutions recognized both nationally and worldwide with five Stevie awards in three years for leadership, customer service and innovative solutions. This year’s 12th annual American Business AwardsSM received more than 3,300 entries judged by more than 240 U.S. executives.


The Crisis Response Program includes automated and managed online training and safety tasks ensuring that schools practice and are prepared to act in the event of a crisis or emergency, including active shooter situations, IED/bomb threats, natural disasters, or other crises.


“School emergency and crisis planning, preparation and test runs are tough to sustain because of administrators’ ever-growing lists of responsibilities,” said Al Gille, coordinator of health, safety and security at Great Oaks Career Campuses and user of the Crisis Response Program. “In order for a program to be effective, districts need high-quality training, clear communication with staff and first responders, and practice to ensure appropriate actions are taken. The Crisis Response Program takes care of this in one sweep.”


Great Oaks Career Campuses chose the PublicSchoolWORKS Crisis Response Program to ensure optimum preparation, as well as ensure consistency in its response to crises. The system automation manages training and the completion of safety tasks and drills, taking the worry and load off district staff and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. Additionally, the system houses all necessary documents to complete any drills or tasks, as well as the records of completion.


With the Crisis Response Program, Great Oaks is able to not only deploy training to all employees, but to schedule and ensure completion of district and state-mandated  drills and other safety tasks to maximize staff and student knowledge to be prepared for any crisis.


“While no person or tool can prevent incidents from happening, preparing staff with relevant and reliable knowledge to act versus react is critical to providing for the best possible outcome when a crisis occurs,” said Tom Strasburger, vice president of PublicSchoolWORKS.


“The Crisis Response Program gives districts a system that automates the execution of tactical exercises or drills along with training content that increases awareness of potential crises,” said Strasburger. ”The combination provides for a level of confidence that our staff and students are prepare to act effectively in the event of a crisis situation.”


Details about The American Business Awards and the full list of Stevie Award winners are available To learn more about the Crisis Response Program,


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About PublicSchoolWORKS

Since 2000, PublicSchoolWORKS safety compliance management solutions have focused on helping schools easily meet ever-changing compliance requirements, improve staff and student safety, cut costs associated with risk, and reduce administrator and staff time and effort. PublicSchoolWORKS is the only, complete K12 safety compliance management program created by and for schools, and is proud to provide districts with award-winning technology and support recognized by North American educators. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757


About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in six programs: The American Business Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about the Stevie Awards at


2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Symposium

2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium

iNACOL IS  pleased to announce the lineup of pre-conference workshop sessions scheduled to kick off the 2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium. These pre-conference sessions offer focused full- and half-day workshops that are highly interactive for administrators, educators and policymakers for blended, online and competency-based learning.
Registration for pre-conference workshops held on Tuesday, November 4th is limited to ensure small group interactions and discussions, so please reserve your place as soon as possible. Complete descriptions and presenter information for all 10 pre-conference workshops can be found at
Here is a look at two of the workshops available:
Developing Supports for Blended Learning Teachers: New Competencies

Kathryn Kennedy, Michigan Virtual University
Allison Powell, iNACOL
Beth Rabbitt, The Learning Accelerator

New blended learning school models are integrating great teaching with technology to change the ways in which adults and students work together. While much of what makes practitioners effective in traditional environments remains the same (for example, content knowledge and pedagogy), the shift to blended learning also creates new demands on teachers as they take on new, dynamic, and collaborative roles to implement these new approaches. In this session, participants will explore both what these new competencies are as well as how different organizations are taking on the challenge of developing supports for teachers to move towards using blended learning in their schools.
Points in Time in a Personalized Learning Implementation: Lessons Learned and Next Steps for Big Thinkers
Amy Jenkins, Education Elements
Jane Bryson, Education Elements

This workshop will feature leaders from several school districts – each of which has taken a different approach to personalized learning and each of which is at a different point in their transformation. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from these districts and from each other, gaining a better understanding of the different ways to get from Point A to Point B at each stage of implementation. Topics will include: roll-out strategies (opt-in versus top-down), digital content selection and procurement, instructional model design, accountability and sustainability of design iterations, professional development and teacher supports. Each of the participants will reflect on the degree of stakeholder participation as well as lessons learned around change management. Participants will leave with a set of tools and resources appropriate to where they are in their journey, as well as access to an online community of personalized learning practitioners for follow-up virtual sessions.

Complete descriptions and presenter information for all 10 pre-conference workshops can be found at Please register for pre-conference workshops in advance at
We look forward to seeing you in Palm Springs!

About the iNACOL Symposium

The 2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium will bring together more than 2,500 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of next generation learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world. iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event for K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning and gathers experts, leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field.
For questions, please contact Tracy Breithaupt, iNACOL Events Manager,
About iNACOL
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit


Ed-Tech Visionary, Wendy LaDuke, Named Group Publisher for eSchool Media

Education technology industry stalwart takes the wheel of leading education-publishing group

Bethesda, MD September 18, 2014 – The eSchool Media publishing group (ESM) is proud to announce that Wendy LaDuke, ed-tech industry icon and former group publisher of 1105 Media’s T.H.E. Journal & Campus Technology, has signed on as their new Group Publisher. With more than 30 years in the education technology publishing market – and a father widely considered as the founder of the industry itself – LaDuke brings with her a profound love of, appreciation for and altruistic vision regarding the education technology arena. In her new role she will serve as Group Publisher for all 3 publications from ESM: eSchool News, eClassroom News and eCampus News, their higher ed magazine.

Edward Warnshuis, her father, began his career in the education industry with a clear vision – and LaDuke has furthered, and will continue to further, his passion of technology’s integral role in today’s classrooms.

After a widely successful and prominent tenure at T.H.E. Journal and Campus Technology (competing education technology publications), LaDuke joins the eSchool Media team with a deep understanding of how education has been transformed by technology and a determination to not only continue her father’s vision to foster innovation, but further establish and pursue her own belief that technology and innovation are two integral pieces of the education puzzle.

“One of the greatest things I learned from my father was to pursue your vision with conviction and to persevere against adversity to make that vision a reality,” says LaDuke. “Education is about making a difference in the lives of kids, setting them up for a lifetime of success, and it is a privilege to play a role in that process. Throughout my career as a publisher, educators have always been my focus. Leveraging my role to ensure that they have access to resources that will allow them to improve their practice is truly an honor.  I am thrilled to join such a talented and well-respected organization like eSchool Media. This opportunity will allow me to build on the reputation they have established and I am truly blessed to have the chance to further my father’s vision and to keep his ed-tech legacy alive.”

“All of us at ESM are excited to have Wendy in the driver’s seat,” said Rob Morrow, CEO at eSchool Media.  “Her knowledge of the industry, strong relationships, vision and dedication to the space will be invaluable to our suite of publications and websites. She brings the experience, passion and dedication to education technology, which our readers want, and our clients expect. Wendy knows how to ‘connect-the-dots’ in a way that allows our clients, readers and writers to make a positive impact in education. This is just the beginning of an outstanding new chapter for eSchool Media.”

Wendy LaDuke was a 2013 Folio100 award honoree in the category of “Under the Radar” agent of change, which is a testament to her equally avid admiration for, and vision of, the publishing industry.

Look for Wendy LaDuke at this year’s EdNET Conference September 28-30 in Baltimore, MD.

Visit the websites of eSchool NewseCampus News and eClassroom News to learn more about eSchool Media’s family of publications.


About eSchool Media:

With a combined, unduplicated audience of more than one million education decision makers, eSchool Media Inc. is the parent organization of three robust print, digital, and eMail networks providing breaking news and vital information to brand-specifying buyers at every level of the education field:

  • eSchool News (K-12)
    With approximately 945,000 visitors and readers—is found in print and on the internet at
  • eCampus News (Higher Ed)
    With approximately 94,000 visitors and readers—is found in print and on the internet at
  • eClassroom News (Teachers)
    With approximately 52,000 visitors and readers—is found on the internet at


The eSchool Media family of networks serves ed-tech decision makers throughout the world, primarily in Canada and the United States. Our audience includes executive educators (from principals and every U.S. superintendent) at the building- and district-level in elementary and secondary schools; administrators (from chancellors, presidents, and deans to provosts, vice-presidents, and department directors) in two- and four-year colleges, public and private universities, and state university systems; as well as instructors, teachers, and professors of all subjects at every grade level. eSchool Media strives to provide the best news, information, and resources to help K-20 decision makers discover, evaluate, and procure technology to transform education and achieve educational goals.


New Analysis: Gender Gaps Exist in K-12 School Technology Leadership 
Data Released by CoSN from 2014 IT Leadership Survey Raises Important Questions Surrounding
Equity for Women in Leadership Roles
Washington, DC (September 17, 2014) – While women are better educated and have more experience, men earn more money and hold the majority of leadership positions in K-12 district technology leadership. This is the central finding from CoSN’s (Consortium for School Networking’s) new analysisreleased today examining K-12 IT leadership by gender.
CoSN’s data, which are based on a subsample of its 2014 K-12 IT Leadership Survey, start to address the issue of fairness, compensation and leadership for women in K-12 technology.
“Our findings reveal that, despite equity gains in recent years across industry sectors, gender disparity and bias exist right in our nation’s schools,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “The results should open the eyes of our school leadership and communities to the inequality with which many women technology leaders compete against in the field. At a minimum, this issue merits further research and action to ensure women are fully represented and treated fairly throughout their professional careers in K-12 education and elsewhere.”
The survey analysis drew the following results:
  • Representation. Women are less represented in K-12 IT leadership positions than men. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed identified themselves as men, whereas just 34 percent were women.
  • Earnings. Women in K-12 IT leadership positions earn less than men. Forty-eight percent of men earn $100,000 or more, whereas 36 percent of women earn that amount. At the low end of the pay scale, 15 percent of men earn under $70,000 versus 26 percent of women.
  • Job titles. Women in K-12 IT leadership positions have less prestigious titles than men. Compared to 15 percent of men, nearly one-quarter of women titles suggest intermediate positions, including manager, coordinator, school technology leader, or a director title. Additionally, compared to 63 percent of women, nearly three-quarters of men possess higher designations, such as chief technology officer, chief information officer, or district technology officer.
  • Educational attainment. Women in K-12 IT leadership positions have higher levels of education than men. Seventy-nine percent of women in school district leadership positions have graduate degrees compared to 68 percent of men.
  • Experience. Women have been in the K-12 IT field longer and held their positions longer than men. Eighty-five percent of women in school district leadership roles have 10 or more years of industry experience, compared to 73 percent of men.
Read the full analysis here.
For more information about CoSN’s IT Leadership Survey, please visit:
About CoSN 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and eventsadvocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.