There’s so much going on in education right now in terms of reform, new found exposure, and innovative ideas. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting stories to come out this first week of 2011.

Andrew Rotherham, writer of the Eduwonk blog, has a weekly column at and this week picks out 11 education activists sure to shake things up in 2011.

These activists are political and apolitical, working to change school systems from within and without, and can be found in the for-profit, nonprofit and governmental sectors. Some are big names in the education world, while others are more behind-the-scenes players. But what they all have in common is the potential to change how Americans think about education and how kids experience school in 2011 — and beyond.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is taking a stand against empty school buildings in Milwaukee. This is not a unique problem to Milwaukee, and like the Journal says, action should be taken. They believe the city should sell the empty school buildings, even if that means selling them to competing schools:

The district has a deed restriction on the buildings that keeps them from being used as schools that are not part of MPS as competing schools that might lure students away from the district and contribute to MPS enrollment decline. Concerns about declining enrollment are understandable. But the way to deal with those concerns is by improving the district’s schools – not by blocking real estate deals.

Currently there are several STC Schools that are looking for bigger spaces, and changes like this could make a big difference. These schools are “bright spot” schools in their respective areas and would like to help as many children as possible receive a quality education. Read about The Oaks Academy and St. Marcus School‘s struggles and victories in expansion.

Schools around the country have already been adding up snow days this year, and ideas of virtual education have been gaining more attention as a result. In the future it may be possible for classrooms to have class over the internet or even just over Skype to help keep kids engaged when it’s not practical for them to come to school.

Here are some stories from around the web detailing other movements towards “virtual education” (via edspresso):

Trombetta Talks Cyber Education
East Liverpool Review, PA, January 5, 2011
An additional workforce for a cyber education curriculum may come to East Liverpool , according to the head of Midland-based PA Cyber.

Alternative-Education Option Discussed

Reading Eagle, PA, January 6, 2011
The Boyertown School District is looking to use the county intermediate unit’s cyber charter school to teach its alternative-education students.

Collier Considering Virtual School Franchise
WZVN-TV, FL, January 5, 2011
From the science lab to the computer lab, new graduation requirements have Collier County school leaders are looking online to solve a scheduling mess.

Virtual Charter School Will Go Online Soon

Times Picayune, LA, January 06, 2011
Beginning this year, Louisiana students from kindergarten through 12th grade will have a new public school option available to them — online.

It’s going to be an exciting and eventful year in Education for the STC network and the entire nation. Have your pencils sharpened and ready!