How Might New Schools Expand Opportunities for All Learners?

This post was originally published on on March 1, 2020. This past week I had the privilege of joining a convening with America Succeeds to discuss Agile Education.  It was a fantastic day that included school visits, time at Microsoft, and a visit to Teague to learn about interdisciplinary design.  One of the moments that struck me was nearContinue reading “How Might New Schools Expand Opportunities for All Learners?”

Are we on the verge of a learner-centered paradigm?

This post was originally published on on February 22, 2020. One of my all-time favorite books is The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn (originally published in 1962).  In this text, Kuhn analyzes the history and evolution of new paradigms, including the Copernican revolution and Dalton’s atomic theory.  He finds interesting commonalities that may beContinue reading “Are we on the verge of a learner-centered paradigm?”

How Might We Create Learner-Centered Report Cards?

How might we create learner-centered report cards? Report cards are one of the practices that has been so embedded in our industrial-era, factory-model of schools that we seldom stop to ask why we do them. Through the course of my experience as a school leader, it has become clear that stepping back to ask whoContinue reading “How Might We Create Learner-Centered Report Cards?”

Educational Leadership and Modern Assembly Lines

This post was originally published on on January 26, 2020. At the beginning of the industrial era, American schools were re-designed to align with the needs of the emerging workforce and economy.  As a result, education became mass produced and our systems and structures in many ways resembled the principles of industrial manufacturing.  OneContinue reading “Educational Leadership and Modern Assembly Lines”

An Evaluation of Risk

This post was originally published on on January 19, 2020. People make hundreds of decisions every day.  For teachers and for school leaders, there are consequences to these decisions in terms of their effect on children.  We also form habits as a way to simplify decision-making where many of our choices are fairly automatic.Continue reading “An Evaluation of Risk”

3 Essential Components for District Transformation

Learner-centered leadership begins with an orientation to relational trust.  It is through our interactions that we serve others and promote ongoing learning and development.  With that said, we also know that the work of transforming a school district requires a multi-faceted approach.  Here are the three essential components to achieve dramatic change across a system:Continue reading “3 Essential Components for District Transformation”

Assessment Implications of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

The television series “Breaking Bad” features a teacher-turned-drug-dealer who creates an alter-ego character named Heisenberg.  For many, that would be their first association with the title of this post.  To be clear, what follows will reference the work of the German physicist Werner Heisenberg and not the Bryan Cranston character.   The physicist Heisenberg is mostContinue reading “Assessment Implications of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle”

The Four Elements of Trust

Relationships are at the heart of leading and learning. As school leaders, we know this from intuition and experience. It is also clear that relationships require trust.  Research reveals that there are four elements of relational trust: consistency, compassion, competence, and communication.  Consistency is equated to predictability — in any interaction there is a degree of vulnerabilityContinue reading “The Four Elements of Trust”