November 1, 2010

Virtual School Symposium 2010 and the release of Keeping Pace 2010

We are releasing Keeping Pace 2010 at the Virtual School Symposium, hosted by iNACOL. If you’re reading this blog it’s likely you already know that. If you are attending VSS, you’ve received a hard copy of the report in your conference bag. If not, you can download the .pdf of the report on this site. Note the graphics available for download (in the Reports & Graphics section) as well, for use in presentations, reports, and any other way you would like to use them.

The release of this year’s report is a good time to thank our sponsors. The sponsors not only support the report financially, but also play a critical role by contributing their time and expertise. They take part in monthly conference calls and countless one-on-one calls as we work through what issues to tackle, what data to collect, and how to frame what we’re finding. Many of the individuals spend hours writing, or editing our very rough first drafts, knowing that they will get no further recompense except for our private thanks and their knowledge of their contribution.

It is not uncommon that a reader will note the list of sponsors and suggest that it must be a hard challenge to herd so many competing interests. Many people expect that sponsors are involved primarily for their own interests, and likely try to influence the report in ways that put their organizations in the best light.

The truth is, however, that in seven years, and with more than 20 total sponsors over all those years, I can count on one hand the number of times that we felt pressured by a sponsor to report on something that we wouldn’t have otherwise. And the number of times that we’ve put something in the report because a sponsor asked for it remains exactly zero.

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