Does outcome-based funding encourage academic progress or deepen the divide?

Education Dive | January 25, 2019

As Texas lawmakers consider increasing state education funding, some state education leaders fear a turn to outcome-based funding methods for part of that formula, allocating more money to schools based on 3rd-grade reading test scores and the number of graduating seniors who prove to be college- or career-ready, KCBD reports.Top state officials have signaled their support for a plan recommended by a state-appointed school finance panel to spend a portion of the recommended education funding — about $800 million — on incentivizing superintendents to improve 3rd-grade reading scores and success rates of high school seniors. A similar idea has been tried in Arizona and appeals to some Texas business leaders and taxpayers looking for a better return on state education investment.However, many education leaders are concerned such outcomes-based incentives will direct the flow of funds from schools that need it most, creating greater funding inequities between districts, and that it will simply encourage teaching to the tests or attempts to game the system. Texas has never tied funding to school performance before, and despite recommendations, lawmakers have yet to propose a bill in support.

Spotlight

Augmented reality has become a field with limitless possibilities. It holds huge promise for improving educational systems across the globe. In the last 2 to 3 years, augmented reality (AR) has grown into a technology that is set to revolutionize numerous sectors, most importantly education. To learn more, check out the Why Augmented Reality Will Transform Education Infographic above created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Masters in Computer Science program.

Spotlight

Augmented reality has become a field with limitless possibilities. It holds huge promise for improving educational systems across the globe. In the last 2 to 3 years, augmented reality (AR) has grown into a technology that is set to revolutionize numerous sectors, most importantly education. To learn more, check out the Why Augmented Reality Will Transform Education Infographic above created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Masters in Computer Science program.

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CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Six Flags Entertainment to Provide World-Class Employee Education Benefits Through Workforce Edge

Workforce Edge | October 10, 2022

This week, Workforce Edge, a complete employee education management platform within Strategic Education, Inc.’s family of educational services, announced a partnership with Six Flags Entertainment Corporation to provide all team members, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees, with access to a network of degree and certificate programs.These include tuition discounts at both Capella University and Strayer University, as well as no-cost access to Sophia Learning available to Capella or Strayer undergraduate students. Six Flags employees will be able to take advantage of the benefits offered to them as a result of the Workforce Edge partnership which began on October 3, 2022. “We’re excited to support a household name brand like Six Flags with their investment into continuing education opportunities for their team members,Through this partnership, Six Flags has secured a spot as a market leader in employee benefits, positioning it as an attractive employer in the amusement park entertainment space and helping ensure it maintains a skilled workforce.” Karl McDonnell, President and CEO, Strategic Education. We’re eager to roll out the Workforce Edge platform to all of our 35,000+ full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees so that they can have access to affordable, continuing education opportunities,” said Selim Bassoul, President & CEO at Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. “We’re proud to support our team members as they work to achieve their professional and personal success. Strategic Education supports more than 1,000 employer partners in their efforts to upskill and retain their workforce and provides a suite of groundbreaking education solutions to help employers stay one step ahead of their competition. Workforce Edge serves as a solution to help employers offer their workforce higher education options that are relevant, innovative and affordable. Since launching, Workforce Edge has partnered with 45 industry-leading employers to help administer education benefits. About Strategic Education, Inc. Strategic Education, Inc. is dedicated to helping advance economic mobility through higher education. We primarily serve working adult students globally through our core focus areas: 1) U.S. Higher Education, including Strayer University and Capella University, each institutionally accredited, and collectively offer flexible and affordable associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs including the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, and non-degree web and mobile application development courses through Strayer University’s Hackbright Academy and Devmountain; 2) Education Technology Services, developing and maintaining relationships with employers to build education benefits programs providing employees access to affordable and industry-relevant training, certificate, and degree programs, including through Workforce Edge, a full-service education benefits administration solution for employers, and Sophia Learning, enabling education benefits programs through low-cost online general education-level courses that are ACE-recommended for college credit; and 3) Australia/New Zealand, comprised of Torrens University, Think Education, and Media Design School that collectively offer certificate and degree programs in Australia and New Zealand. This portfolio of high quality, innovative, relevant, and affordable programs and institutions helps our students prepare for success in today’s workforce and find a path to bettering their lives. About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with 27 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 60 years, Six Flags has entertained hundreds of millions of guests with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling waterparks and unique attractions. Six Flags is committed to creating an inclusive environment that fully embraces the diversity of our team members and guests

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Learning Pool Introduces Global AI-Based Skills Solution

Learning Pool | October 17, 2022

Learning Pool, the award-winning learning technologies company, has announced the launch of a major new product ahead of its 14th annual Learning Pool Live user conference.The release will leverage the know-how of People-Analytix, a Switzerland-based pioneer in AI-powered skills technology that was recently acquired by Learning Pool. The shift to put skills at the center of Learning Pool's technology offering is a wider reflection of the most profound change we've seen in learning technologies in recent times. "Every global enterprise is struggling to attract and retain skilled employees, and the widening skills gaps that are stopping businesses from growing at the pace they desire are apparent in every boardroom conversation,Learning Pool's acquisition of People-Analytix, and the subsequent advancements it will bring to our platform, means that we can now give customers the power to automatically address skills gaps as they appear. It is a tremendously exciting technology and a fundamental component in our wider mission to support talent development in creating extraordinary performers." Ben Betts, Learning Pool CEO Learning Pool notes that analysts and market commentators are keen to point out that the pivot to skills is not a temporary fad but rather a fundamental shift in the way we think about talent and development.According to Gartner, "Skills are fast becoming the main talent-related currency in terms of hiring, workforce planning and optimization, career development, talent marketplaces and learning." The World Economic Forum predicts that, by 2025, as many as 50% of all workers will need reskilling.[2] To address this global issue, skills development can no longer be satisfied by being simply reactive. Fosway research shows that skills are a critical strategic priority for organizations. However, only 20% of learning professionals say they are very effective at upskilling and reskilling," Fiona Leteney, senior analyst at Fosway Group, said. Both organizational agility and resilience are dependent on developing the right skills at pace, Learning Pool's acquisition of People-Analytix significantly strengthens its skills capabilities to address those needs. The latest release will form a key part of the Learning Pool platform; customers will use it to assess the current skills within their organization, plan for the future and close the gap through Learning Pool's platform and content libraries all in a single solution. Our latest release is powered by the incredible AI that People-Analytix and their partners have been developing over the better part of the past decade," Betts said. "The work the team have done has been lauded as one of the smartest 'skill cloud' executions available in the market today, and that's been backed up with real-world success stories. Taking a highly user-centric approach that is unique in the marketplace, the product announcement includes: A unique personal skills profile. From the outset, each user will have a unique and personal skills profile, fully capable of recommending the next best step for their development, based on up-to-date market data summarized into a seamless and automated experience. A market-leading skills ontology, providing a categorization of skills that creates a common language, defining the aspects of a specific job rather than relying on blanket terms and descriptions. Other providers in the industry use more limited methods of taxonomy, essentially hardcoding a hierarchy of jobs or competencies into their products, putting additional pressure on learning and development teams while inevitably becoming an outdated, poor reflection of how people do their jobs. External employment marketplace data updated daily to help both workers and administrators understand the skills that are in highest demand/shortest supply and to keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of global workplaces. A range of new learning experience types, including gig projects, internal mobility, mentorships and social learning opportunities, to broaden the methods by which employees can enhance their skill profiles. Updated and personalized learning recommendations, giving learners the best resources, social interactions and learning experiences to improve the most in-demand skills. Users can reskill or upskill using different pathways and different methods of learning. A comprehensive skills gap analysis tool, allowing managers to view the current skills within their team, plus the potential for staff members to upskill to fill new or emerging needs. In addition to benefiting from People-Analytix technology, Learning Pool will be strengthening its ranks of skills and data experts, led by Christoph Küffer, co-founder and CEO of People-Analytix, who joins the Learning Pool management team. We are excited to take our shared passion for innovation and customer centricity forward to build the future of enterprise learning, Küffer said. Current skills solutions in the market use relatively basic taxonomy not reflecting the current market developments. At the heart of our solution is a unique AI-powered ontology built over 10 years with human guidance. This sets us apart and is why it has the power to revolutionize how organizations manage their approach. Reporting around skills and skills progress can be used for organizational planning and developing and measuring learning and development strategies, making a powerful impact on business goals. Participants at Learning Pool Live will be able to share in the announcement, get hands-on with the technology and speak to the wider team. Last-minute tickets are available to join industry pioneers and hundreds of peers for a day of innovation, idea sharing and best practice. About Learning Pool Learning Pool creates learning experiences that deliver extraordinary outcomes for workplaces investing in the performance and skills of their people. Global organizations across dozens of industries choose Learning Pool for its innovative learning platform, which combines integrated technology and adaptive content to produce actionable insight into every learner's performance readiness. The company's passion for learning and commitment to data-driven outcomes is why they stay.Learning Pool is used in more than 40 languages by learners around the world. Its solutions easily integrate with the most used enterprise technology stacks. And its world-class customer experience ensures that L&D, HR and compliance teams can move beyond discussing learning as a cost center to harnessing its unique ability to produce a highly skilled workforce, new competitive advantages and an organization prepared for whatever the future might bring. Wherever you find ambitious workplaces investing in their people, you'll find Learning Pool.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Optii Solutions Launches New Learning Center Experience

Optii Solutions | October 27, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading cloud-based hotel operations software, announced today that it has launched a learning center with enhanced usability, improved search, and content designed for on-the-job learning. Almost every department and member of the operations team comes in contact with some aspect of Optii’s hotel operations platform. It was therefore important to ensure that educational content and accessibility works for a range of roles, cultures, and working environments. Optii’s Learning Center puts search at the forefront to allow users to access information quickly and on any device. Browsable content is organized to be user-centric and mirror common tasks and functions of any given role within a hotel operations team. Optii prioritizes recruitment from hospitality, and specifically housekeeping and operations. This ensures that the company maintains a close connection and understanding of all levels of hotel operations. While this knowledge is critical to creating a user-centric technology experience, it also serves to ensure that educational information is developed and presented in a quick and effective manner. Shelley Snyman, Director of Operations, Optii Solutions,“In developing learning content for our customers, I always start from a point of putting myself in their shoes. Many of the questions or challenges that operations and housekeeping professionals have, I have experienced at some point during my time in housekeeping. This knowledge helps me develop and structure training material in a way that will help team members get their answers, get back to their task, and be successful.” “Customer success has always been a top priority for Optii. While critical, the impact of our solution goes beyond productivity gains, guest experience, and cost savings. Optii has become an indispensable tool for housekeeping and maintenance staff in their daily operation, and we are focused on ensuring their success. A lot of the value of Optii is downstream to that.” Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments.

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