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Quality Design Principle #13: Invest in Educators as Learners

“Sure, we could make it easier for teachers, but then our students don’t succeed. The other option is to admit that teaching is a complex system, invest in the systems, nurture the culture to support professional teachers…and have the kids actually learn. It’s obvious which one is the better choice.”

–….. Read More

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Quality Design Principle #15: Develop Processes for Ongoing Continuous Improvement and Organizational Learning

“We aren’t done innovating until 100 percent of our students are graduating.”

– Ty Cesene, Principal, Bronx Arena, New York City Department of Education, NY, 2014

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Quality systems model the same learning orientation and growth mindset that they seek to foster in students…… Read More

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Quality Design Principle #16: Advance Upon Demonstrated Mastery

“Mastery is about knowing something like the back of your hand. You can use it again and again.”

– Student, Cleveland School District

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When students advance upon demonstrated mastery instead of seat time, educators direct their efforts to where students require the most help and make sure they learn the skills needed for more advanced studies…… Read More

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Classroom Assessment is About Closing Gaps

by Chris Sturgis

I have never been a teacher. Thus, I don’t write very much about instruction and assessment as my knowledge base is about the size of a raindrop compared to the sea of knowledge that teachers tap into every day. I simply don’t have enough knowledge to know where to focus or the types of questions to ask…… Read More

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Creating a Learner-Driven System in Waukesha (Part 1)

This article, originally posted at CompetencyWorks is based on site visits in 2017 on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin.

I arrived early at Waukesha’s STEM Academy – Saratoga Campus (WSA). Entering the front door, one immediately steps into a relatively open space carved into smaller areas by bookshelves,….. Read More

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Locations: Wisconsin

Waukesha STEM Academy: Personalizing Instruction and Learning Experiences (Part 2)

This article, originally posted at CompetencyWorks is based on site visits in 2017 on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin.

Many people describe WSA as a STEM school or as a project-based learning school. Murray quickly pointed out, “I couldn’t really make a blanket statement that we are a project-based school or not…… Read More

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Locations: Wisconsin

Waukesha STEM Academy: Rethinking Space, Time, and Reporting (Part 3)

This article, originally posted at CompetencyWorks is based on site visits in 2017 on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin.

“Once you get a new iPhone, you can’t go back to a flip phone…it just doesn’t feel right,” remarked Waukesha STEM Academy principal James Murray…… Read More

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Locations: Wisconsin

Waukesha STEM Academy’s Journey from ABC to the Learner Continuum (Part 4)

This article, originally posted at CompetencyWorks is based on site visits in 2017 on personalized, proficiency-based education in Wisconsin.

The transition of Waukesha STEM Academy (WSA) to a personalized, proficiency-based system didn’t happen overnight. Principal James Murray and the team at WSA started down this road in 2010,….. Read More

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Locations: Wisconsin

EPIC Schools: Putting Young Men of Color in the Center of the Design (Part 1)

This series on Epic North High School, originally published at CompetencyWorks, was based on site visits in 2014 and 2016. See also South Bronx Community High School for another school using the EPIC model.

I’ve visited a lot of schools. I’ve seen confident students before…… Read More

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Locations: New York