Three Elementary Schools Compete to Be South Carolina’s First Inside-Out Center for Learning

October 12, 2008

Selected Site Will Model How to Transform Schools Into Personalized Learning and Service Centers

PENDLETON, SC – October 9, 2008 – The South Carolina National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future  (SC-NCTAF) Coalition announced today the names of three elementary schools competing to be the state’s first Inside-Out Center for Learning.  The selected site will develop and pilot initiatives that transform teaching and learning for the future.

Competing schools are Nevitt Forest Elementary in Anderson School District Five, Fort Ponds Elementary in Lexington District One, and Fairfield Magnet School for Science and Mathematics and the Arts in Fairfield County.  As part of the selection process, each school will receive a site visit by November 2008.  The choice for the Inside-Out Center’s location will be announced in late November with plans for its opening in August 2009.

“I applaud South Carolina’s vision to create an education system that prepares all of our children for the uncertainties and possibilities of the emerging world,” said Richard W. Riley, a NCTAF Co-Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Education. The IOCL will bring the traditional school model out of the factory era and into teaching and learning centers designed to meet the needs of the 21st Century.”

The South Carolina Inside-Out Center for Learning (IOCL) model seeks to transform schools into personalized learning and service centers.  Students will engage in education experiences tailored to their individual learning needs, while teachers work in teams to create innovative, standards-based, and individualized instruction. Learners experience team teaching, looping, community schooling, extended learning time, and other different approaches. In addition, medical, mental, and dental services will be provided to children and their families.

“We can no longer be satisfied with incremental improvements to public education, said State Superintendent Jim Rex.  “We must take bold steps, be innovative, and challenge the status quo. The Inside-Out Center will provide an incubator for a new way of educating our children.  This concept integrates new ideas that are all focused on improving student achievement and school performance.”

The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, to help lead innovation and improvement in the nation’s schools.  South Carolina is one of the Commission’s five state coalitions (along with Hawaii, Georgia, New Jersey and West Virginia) that were challenged to redefine their state’s education system and the teaching profession.

Using the Map of Future Forces Affecting Education developed by KnowledgeWorks Foundation with the Institute for the Future, the five states underwent a year-long process to identify challenges and opportunities facing education.  The states attended a three-day planning symposium and each created a comprehensive proposal to address the changes needed for 21st century teaching and learning.  In June 2008, the Inside-Out Center for Learning received a $45,000 planning grant from KnowledgeWorks Foundation to develop initiatives that transform teaching and learning for the future.

Members from SC-NCTAF coalition presented their Inside-Out Center proposal to the superintendents division of the SC Association of School Administrators.  Twenty-two districts provided letters of agreement in support of this initiative, and eight sent teams to a technical assistance workshop in August to develop center proposals.

“The goal of South Carolina’s Inside-Out Center is to be a model for the state and nation on cost-effective educational services,” said Joanne Avery, deputy superintendent for Anderson School District Four and co-chair of the state’s coalition.  “Its underlying mission is to improve student achievement, teacher quality, recruitment, and retention, and community/parental participation and satisfaction.”

The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. NCTAF is dedicated to providing every child with competent, caring, qualified teaching in schools organized for success. With a network coalition of 25 states and links to professional educational organizations across the nation, NCTAF provides leadership on innovation and improvement in teaching and learning in America’s schools. For more information, visit NCTAF’s website:

KnowledgeWorks Foundation is an Ohio-based education philanthropy committed to solving national education problems innovatively and with others. For more information, please visit the Foundation website at