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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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

High Expectations at EPIC North

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.

As with my first visit to EPIC North, the conversation started with students…… Read More

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Locations: New York

Insights from Aotearoa New Zealand: Credentialing Learning

One of the key features of a competency-based system is a transparent framework of learning. Every school making the transition takes the time at some point in their transition process to build shared understanding of either a competency framework or the state standards. (Please note: Many schools do this right a way which can be helpful but it also leaves room to think that competencies are just a different word for standards…… Read More

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Locations: New Zealand

A Primer on the NZ Education System

There are lots of reasons to go to New Zealand. The beauty of the country is well known. Their national effort to create a multi-cultural nation that fully respects and embraces the Maori community as well as Pasifika and others is inspirational. And their system of education, as well as their boldness in revamping it over the past 30 years,….. Read More

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Locations: New Zealand