., a provider of education and software services will launch " a strategic initiative"
to help connection and collaboration between k-12 and postsecondary institutions.
The Company appears to have a good grasp of the problems including disconnected systems and the resulting poor preparation for college as well as low postsecondary completion overall.
Blackboard's assumptions are that a k-20 community can be built by leveraging technology and spending "over a million dollars". Both of these assumptions are problematic, but Blackboard's specific objectives are sensible. Technology could be an impetus for connecting two systems that rarely talk to each other about crucial issues. Blackboard hopes to build a k-20 online community of educators, promote state and local models of successful collaboration, publish case studies of success, and utilize Blackboard solutions and technology to enhance coordination.
Unfortunately, Blackboard's examples in its press release feature universities, rather than community colleges where the bulk of the problems (like remediation) exist. Something new is needed because k-20 connections are not growing fast enough. Focusing on so many age groups at once has bogged down states and regions as the Education Commission of the States
found out in trying to organize around such a huge target. Perhaps Blackboard should focus on grades 8 to 14 as a first step , and not try to integrate kindergarten with college seniors in the same initiative.
I am intrigued by what technology might do, because there are few natural meeting places where k-12 and postsecondary come together face to face to confront their mutual problems and discuss potential solutions. Sectors of education have different governing boards and funding systems. The teacher unions are not well integrated either. Perhaps technology can bridge some of these divides without expensive and time consuming travel to meetings.
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Labels: academic preparation, College Completion, College Preparation, College Success