The Future of Education
The Future of Education
Location: 9191 Sheridan Blvd, Westminster, CO, USA
What is the future of education look like a matchbook learning we dream of designing
the future of education but where do you start we would argue that you would start
at the very bottom the very worst performing public schools in our country that are
serving our most desperate children and why start there.
If we don't design a system that meets the needs of those children will never have a
future of education system that meets the needs of all children but what does the
bottom look like Brenda Scott is a k- school in Detroit Michigan if you were to visit
this school you'd immediately be impressed by the architecture amazing impressive
But the building doesn't tell the whole story you see last year before we arrived out of
students only seven were proficient in either reading or math seven now if you think
I’m overdramatizing the impact of public future of education and its current state in
this country are pulling this one example consider this that we could have gone to any
zip code in America that's in the bottom % income wise.
And the chances of those kids getting a college degree by age is just % the number of
schools like Brenda Scott that are chronically failing are projected to reach, in number in
just two years and in two years an amazing thing will happen for the first time in our
We'll adopt a single set of national future of education standards called the common
core and these common core standards will be benchmarked to the very best in the
world - future of education systems like Singapore and South Korea Finland and what
do you think is going to happen to the number of chronically failing schools.
When we significantly raise the bar on what our kids are expected to learn and to know
or enade' in order to be internationally competitive the number of turnaround schools is
likely to skyrocket but these schools in these bottom % zip codes are trapped inside
cycles of poverty home this abandonment is it fair to ask any school to overcome these
I can show you many images like this one that surround our schools but that would be
an incomplete story I'd rather show you an image of inside the school you see inside the
four walls you get a different image you get hope you get kids like jaylen a fifth grader
who dreams of one day becoming a CIA agent.
He wants to be a patriot and defend our country jaylen doesn't know that statistically
he's got a nine percent chance of making his dream so the future of Education rests for
us on one single question how do we help jaylen I don't mean how do we help him in a
one-off way how do we help him systemically.
So that every Jalen in every zip code not only dreams their dream but realizes their
dream in order to understand our future we have to go back to the past the picture
on the left is a - classroom the picture on the right is a classroom side-by-side there's
a hundred year difference between these two pictures.
And yet very little else differs in both pictures students are grouped by age they sit in
rows a teacher lectures them through a printed curriculum moving them at the same
pace sequence and learning style I dare you to find another industry that has changed
so little in a hundred years in fact.
We know in the last years alone technology has completely disrupted entire industries
with companies like Google and Facebook they're leveraging technology to transform
industries so what about technology transforming future of education well there's been
some obviously smart boards have replaced chalkboards we have computers and computer
But if we're honest it really hasn't transformed teaching and learning and the minute
we push this conversation a little bit further about how technology could play a role in
the classroom parents and policymakers alike become concerned that we're creating too
disconnected of a system we don't want robots teaching our kids.
We don't want our kids becoming robots and so we're wrestling with this question what
about great teaching well there's a lot of debate around how to fix public future of
education one that isn't debatable that the research undeniably supports is the impact
of quality future of education quality teaching the single most important determinant
of your child's academic success isn't technology isn't poverty or economic or family
It's the quality of the teacher that stands in front of him or her think about that
quality teaching Trump's poverty Benjamin bloom a researcher year ago did some amazing
research that actually provides us a clue a window what the future of education could
He said a group of elementary students that were taking or they're being taught at a
conventional class one teacher thirty kids at the end of the unit they were assessed and
not surprising there was a bell curve of performance on that assessment he ran a
second experiment this time similar students same content.
But it's still one teacher to students but now instead of just doing an assessment at
the end they did assessments throughout as the material was being taught to see if
the kids had mastered what they had learned if they did they move forward if they
didn't they'd repeat under this mastery based approach these students outperformed
their conventionally taught peers by an entire standard deviation.
He ran the experiment a third time and this time what he did was he in addition to
this mastery based approach to frequent assessments he gave every student the
individual tutor a college student and in this one-to-one mastery based environment
these students outperformed their conventionally taught peers by two standard
Now think about what Blum stumbled upon by simply changing the delivery of
instruction to be more of a one-to-one mastery based environment % of those students
outperform their conventionally taught students Blum solution is elegant simple it's
beautiful but unfortunately for us it's not scalable we can't give every student their
We couldn't financially afford it and even if we could where would we find the teachers
so we come back to this question what should we do for Jaylyn on the one hand you
have technology transforming entire industries and yet there's obvious constraints and
challenges around how we do that in Artificial intelligence & the future of education
systems another hand.
You have this compelling research that says the impact of a teacher on a child's learning
and yet there's constraints and challenges around how we scale great teaching maybe the
answer isn't either technology or great teaching maybe.
It's a booth and that intersection the blend of great technology and great teaching or
what we would call a blended model of school you see in a traditional classroom we
start the year in September let's say it's a fourth-grade class.
And we move that class through in a linear fashion through a fourth grade curriculum
assess them at the end of the year assuming that they have mastered that fourth
grade material in the linear fashion and are ready to go on to the fifth grade.
But if we assess those kids at the beginning of the year in September and Jaylyn school
we would find and many schools like it these kids aren't ready for the grade there one
or two or multiple years behind and if all we do is move them through a fourth grade
curriculum well find at the end of the year they're not ready to advance.
So rather than optimizes broken system we decided to blow it up metaphorically
speaking we went into jail in school and we created every classroom to be a blended
classroom and here's a picture of that every student has their own individual learning
path let me deconstruct this classroom for you in the classroom.
There are four distinct groups along the far left of the class from our group of
students that are working individually on their computers they could be listening to an
online lecture doing a game based problem reading a narrative.
There's a group at the back that are working intensively with the teacher the teachers
giving direct instruction from him or her this is a group that may be behind the curve
there's a group in the middle that has gone through the first two groups and now
applying what they've learned demonstrating mastery.
They could be doing group work a project work writing an essay doing a scientific
experiment and finally there's a fourth group along the far wall that are now online
assessing what they just learned in those different rotation groups to confirm that they
in fact learned.
It but also to extend their learning curve to figure out now what they do next you can
see how this model be great for students different modes of instruction meeting them
where they are different pacing but how does a teacher begin to teach in this
environment in the old way.
They knew what they're going to teach on Monday they knew what they're going to
teach on Tuesday now you've got kids at different paces taking assessments at different
times each with their own individual learning path and learning style matchbook learning.
We do three things with these teachers to not only enable them to teach in a blended
classroom but to thrive in it first we give them real-time data on each student they
pull up a dashboard on their computer
And they can see every student plotted both on their current performance and on their
year to date performance now we obviously want to optimize both of those axes but
the reality is kids accelerate and decelerate.
They're learning at different times get stuck on stuck at different points in the
curriculum and so what we do with this data is we can see trends and on that real-
time data we give them real-time feedback what instructional strategies are working
well with which groups which kids are working well with what instructional strategies
and then the third thing.
We do is we sit down with these teachers one-on-one every two weeks and we ask
them a series of questions that actually their bet they're best able to answer not the
technology are the students engaged in their learning.
What are you observing what's evidence of their that they're mastering what they're
like what's their work product look like and finally based on the data what will you do
next how will you regroup the students over the next two weeks what new strategies.
You will use what existing strategies will you t tweak this enables them to prototype
rapidly real-time data rapid feedback constant prototyping these three things have
enabled other industries to completely transform themselves and this combination of
daily feedback and bi-weekly sit downs enables us to coach.
And mentor teachers over a hundred times individually in a given school year you'd have
to be a professional athlete or a Hollywood actor to get that kind of coaching in your
career but that's where we're elevating the profession of teaching that's how we take
And make them extraordinary see our hope is that in September at the beginning of
the school year if we start these kids not at their age or grade level but where they
actually are academically and move them through individual learning paths with in small
groups within classrooms led by a teacher in a blended environment.
We can see by June that some of these kids would make a year's worth of growth
some to some even three and let's face it these schools are that far behind they have
to make this kind of growth if they're ever going to catch up but can it really work
well in jail and school in our first year last year we took assessment at the beginning of
the year and at the end of the year.
And compare the two points to figure out what their growth was during that year and
what we found was percent of those kids in reading and percent of those kids in math
made a gain of at least percent or more that's statistically significant because it
represents percent represents at least a year's worth of learning within a single year.
And then we looked at the data a little bit further on these kids and what we found
of those kids was percent of those kids made a game between and percent made a game
between and percent and get this percent made a gain of greater than percent that's
more than three years worth of learning in a single year.
We wanted to bring the very best in blended school turnaround design to the very
worst schools to create a powerful proof point at the very bottom that would serve as
a proof point not only for the school in its community but for the city the state and
maybe even the nation our inspiration for this was Chuck Yeager's in at US Air Force
He was the first-ever pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound prior to him no one
had ever broken the sound barrier Chuck didn't have a faster plane or better technology
or even better training he had a belief no a conviction that what everybody else said
He believed was possible and his proof point was so powerful that after he did that a
generation of pilots after him attempted the same and succeeded because they then
knew that it wasn't impossible so much so that today the sound barrier really isn't a
It’s routinely broken what would happen within this unending sea chronically failing
schools or turnaround schools as they're deemed that within this sea of turnaround
schools we could create a few powerful proof points at the very bottom those worst
performing schools and take these schools that are at the very bottom.
And then in four to five year period enable them to become the very top with those
same kids we believe that those proof points can become tipping points that can reverse
the trajectory of underperforming schools across the nation.
But not just show a way to transform underperforming schools but actually show a way
to transform all schools and design a future of education that we all can be part of it
starts and ends with Jalen you see we believe that Jalen not only deserves to dream
his dream he deserves to realize this dream and when we help Jalen realize his dream
he and his peers will help realize ours as a nation thank you.