Note: The information in this profile represents SY2010-11 unless otherwise indicated.

School/organization overview

Name EdisonLearning
Type Charter Management Organization
Headquarters New York City, New York
School locations Ohio
First year of operation
Grades served PreK-12
% FRL 80%
% Black or Hispanic 77%
Per-pupil funding Varies by state

Blended-learning program

Name Dropout Solutions Centers
Focus Dropout prevention/recovery
Year launched SY2010-2011
Outside investments/grants
Blended grades
Blended subjects
Math, English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Science, Electives
Content EdisonLearning
SIS EdisonLearning
Independent LMS None
Independent gradebook None
Independent assessment  None
Professional development

Program model

Program model: Flex

Model description
Students attend a brick-and-mortar center to complete a combination of online courses through EdisonLearning’s eCourses™ and direct instruction from face-to-face personnel.

Program background

History and context
EdisonLearning Inc., formerly Edison Schools Inc., is a for-profit education solutions provider that offers a comprehensive solution for public schools in the United States, United Kingdom, and Middle East. Founded in 1992 by American entrepreneur Chris Whittle, EdisonLearning partners with state governments, districts, and schools to deliver education solutions. These range from providing full-school start up and turnaround to closing a specific achievement gap to helping a good school find incremental improvements.

EdisonLearning bases all of its engagements on the principal of solidifying “Four Cornerstones” of school excellence:

  1. Top talent
  2. Culture of engagement and aspiration
  3. Demanding content and customized instruction
  4. Achievement-driven management

During the 2009–10 school year, EdisonLearning served almost a half a million students across all its product and service offerings in 25 states and internationally.

In the fall of 2010, EdisonLearning opened eight dropout-solutions centers in Ohio—four in Columbus and four in Cleveland. EdisonLearning worked with the Ohio State Department of Education, local school districts, and communities to set up the centers, which are conveniently located to optimize ease of student access (for example, located on a public transportation route).

Blended model
Each dropout-solutions center has a dedicated classroom for small group or individual direct instruction and tutoring and a technology lab for delivering online courses. Solution centers offer a flexible schedule that provides students the option to attend one of several sessions during the day. Each center has a professional staff, which generally consists of a director, administrative personnel, certified teachers, paraprofessionals, and guidance coaches.

The on-site teachers grade the open-response portion of assessments, which constitute 25 percent of each course’s total assessment content. The learning management system provides automated grading of the remaining 75 percent of material.

Notable results
Academic achievement results for the dropout-solutions centers are unavailable because of the program’s infancy. The program has opened eight centers since its inception in the fall of 2010.

On the horizon
EdisonLearning believes it will have an advantage in the blended-learning space because it has such a broad set of brick-and-mortar schools and online products within its operation, which it can use to test and iterate rapidly. Evo Popoff, senior vice president of achievement solutions, believes that in the future, the company will have a highly developed matrix that lists school system needs on one axis, such as saving money, building student fluency with technology, graduating at-risk youth, and resolving teacher shortages. On the other axis, it will have a well-developed, tested, and predictable set of blended solutions. The company is moving forward to be able to match operator needs with appropriate solutions in each box of the matrix and thereby provide a customized implementation for each scenario.


  • Christensen Institute
    Christensen Institute