Catholic Schools Introduce Blended Learning

Source: Lexington Institute, Jul 2012

Mission Dolores Academy (MDA), a Catholic K-8 school in San Francisco, opened its doors in fall 2011 and the early results are promising. Average math scores rose from 43% grade level proficiency to 59% in one year. Reading scores also showed substantial improvement rising from 43% to 49% in the first year. At the same time, operating costs have plummeted on a per-pupil basis from $9,800 before blended learning to $8,700 today and are projected to fall again next year by another 10%.

Related Reading: City Journal, Oct 2012

At blended-learning schools like Mission Dolores, the curriculum is mastery-based—students only move on when they master the material. Teachers spend more time in direct interaction with each student or in small group lessons. Online tools collect real-time data on student performance and allow teachers to intervene with students or accelerate the pace of instruction.

Over time, grade levels become less important. Students are no longer force-fed a curriculum pitched to average comprehension levels, since each child’s curriculum is customized. The resulting educational efficiency helps close achievement gaps.

In San Francisco, Mission Dolores Academy’s first year (2011–2012) was a major success. Student test scores increased over the course of the year by 16 percent in math and 6 percent in reading, while per-pupil spending fell by 10 percent.

Related Reading: PRWeb, Sep 2012


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