A new report released July 18 discusses how state leaders in K-12 education are rethinking policies to allow students to advance competency-based approaches that allow any time, everywhere learning for today’s youth.‘Unfortunately, many states and school districts are still handcuffed by rigid regulations that prevent them from moving toward the student-centered, performance-based approach,’ Patrick said. ‘This report offers guidance and practical recommendations for state education policymakers.’‘We are proposing what amounts to a vital change in current methods of instruction and measurement so that students can move ahead when they demonstrate knowledge,’ said Susan Patrick, co-author of the report and president of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).Titled, Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-based Learning, the report was unveiled at the Summer Institute of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in Stowe, Vermont. Co-authored by Chris Sturgis, a principal at MetisNet, the report is based on policy recommendations made by education innovators during the 2011 Competency-based Learning Summit convened by iNACOL and CCSSO earlier this year.The report recommends that states begin to transform policies from ‘rigid compliance’ to ‘enabling policies,’ by offering seat-time waivers or ‘credit flex’ policies that allow for the flexibility to offer competency-based learning in K-12 education.A ‘comprehensive policy redesign’ would require competency-based credits, personalized learning plans, information technology, professional development, and quality-control in support of individual student growth for accountability, while aligning higher education with K-12 competency-based efforts. The report also offers states a number of approaches toward tackling emerging state policy issues in order to speed the transition to a competency-based approach.Sturgis said, ‘With state leadership creating the necessary policy conditions to enable children to progress when they have mastered skills, we will finally be able to overcome the inequities of our current education system.’‘Competency-based learning is essential to a future for students in the United States to remain globally competitive, and this transformation in enabling policy must begin at the state level,’ said Patrick.The report is available at www.inacol.org(link is external).About iNACOLiNACOL is the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership association based in the Washington, DC area with more than 3,800 members.iNACOL is unique in that its members represent a diverse cross-section of K-12 education from school districts, charter schools, state education agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities and research institutions, corporate entities and other content and technology providers (www.inacol.org(link is external)). iNACOL hosts the annual Virtual School Symposium (VSS). VSS 2011 is being held Nov. 9 – 11, 2011 in Indianapolis, IN (www.virtualschoolsymposium.org(link is external)). STOWE, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–7.18.2011
FIFA has extended a ban on recently elected Italian football federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio worldwide for six months over a racist comment he made in August. The ban follows a similar move by UEFA and comes the day after the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Mutuma Ruteere, urged all countries “to take appropriate measures to harness the unique potential of sports to debunk racial superiority discourses, mobilise people and convey messages about equality and non-discrimination.”In Ruteere’s remarks to the UN he said, “Eradicating racism from sports is an urgent concern that requires collective action by international organizations, international sports federations, national Governments, national sports federations and civil society.”In his successful campaign for the presidency of the Italian Football Federation, Tavecchio said, “In England, they identify the players coming in and, if they are professional, they are allowed to play. Here instead we get ‘Opti Poba’, who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first-team player with Lazio.”Despite his remarks Tavecchio managed to secure 63.63% in the election from an electoral college comprising 278 representatives from Serie A, Serie B, the Lega Pro, the Amateur League, the Players’ Association, the Coaches’ Association and the Referees’ Association and a subsequent FIGC investigation was dropped after Tavecchio apologised saying he was misunderstood.As a result of the ban, FIFA said that Tavecchio will be “ineligible for any position as a FIFA official for a period of six months starting from October 7, 2014.” “The case relates to racist comments made by Mr Tavecchio during his FIGC presidential election campaign,” the statement said. “FIFA’s stance against any form of discrimination is unequivocal.”Article three of the FIFA statutes expressly prohibits discrimination of any kind against persons on account of their race, skin colour, ethnic, national or social origin, gender, language, religion, political opinion, wealth, birth or sexual orientation.”Although the FIFA response to Tavecchio’s comments will prevent him from sitting on any FIFA committees, the worry is that a man who could express such views still heads the Italian Federation and that tolerance for racism is clearly so widespread in Italian football.