Self-assessment is essential for meaningful engagement

Long before we had powerful mobile computing devices in our pockets, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi conducted a research project that used pager devices and randomly buzzed participants to find out what they were doing and to assess their emotional state.  Based on a massive data set, Csikszentmihalyi and his team were surprised to find out that manyContinue reading “Self-assessment is essential for meaningful engagement”

Learner-Centered Metrics That Matter in the Pandemic (and Beyond)

At a time when our educational system has been significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and systems are adapting and creating new models to support modifications to in-person learning, hybrid options, and distance learning solutions.  We are also seeing innovations with “pandemic pods” and a resurgence of interest in microschools.  Regardless of the modeContinue reading “Learner-Centered Metrics That Matter in the Pandemic (and Beyond)”

Different Pathways to Reforming High School

In 2012, Tony Wagner, then a Harvard Innovation Education Fellow, interviewed hundreds of CEOs to determine the skills that our youth would need to thrive in the future. He reported themes such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, adaptability, initiative, communication, and curiosity. This resonates with what I have heard over the course of more than twoContinue reading “Different Pathways to Reforming High School”

Rethinking Elementary Staffing to Create Flexible Options for All Students

As we near the halfway mark of the school year, conversations with school leaders continue to be focused on emerging options for schooling.  While many started the year in full-virtual mode, plans continue to be developed to shift to hybrid with an intention to get back to full-in-person at some point in the future.  AtContinue reading “Rethinking Elementary Staffing to Create Flexible Options for All Students”

COVID 19 is accelerating the educational shift from compliance to agency

We have reached the point where students can literally turn down the volume on their teacher. The dynamics of education have clearly changed. If traditional, compliance-driven approaches worked to engage students before, they absolutely will not work during a global pandemic and they are not likely to be effective in the future where we anticipateContinue reading “COVID 19 is accelerating the educational shift from compliance to agency”

Listening To Our Learners

This past week the Association of California School Administrators published an interview with me in EdCal. This was an opportunity for me to reflect on our current context and to highlight some inspiring innovations that are emerging during the pandemic. As we approach the end of 2020, it also feels like a good time toContinue reading “Listening To Our Learners”

Five “how might we?” questions for educators during an ongoing crisis

As a Superintendent I learned to think about worst case scenarios. But I could not have predicted when the pandemic started that we would be where we are: part way through a second disrupted school year, facing the worst case counts to date, grappling with mounting evidence of the impact on learning loss and dropContinue reading “Five “how might we?” questions for educators during an ongoing crisis”

The path ahead: How might we prepare now for year-round school?

Equitable access to meaningful learning is the way to build a brighter future.  Ensuring that every young person has the opportunity to achieve their potential is not only the ethical imperative of our time, it is the way to prepare for the era of accelerating change that is now upon us.  Empowering all of usContinue reading “The path ahead: How might we prepare now for year-round school?”

Navigating the New Normal: 3 Change Management Frameworks for Educational Leaders

Hierarchical systems are designed to create stability and order. During times of rapid change, information bottlenecks impede efficiencies and create stress throughout the organization. Simply put, hierarchies and bureaucratic systems were not designed for adaptation. Right now, during this global pandemic, it is a time of constant change and we must reimagine our systems andContinue reading “Navigating the New Normal: 3 Change Management Frameworks for Educational Leaders”

There has never been a better time for OER

I love the feature on my phone that brings up “On this day” photos and I was recently reminded that five years ago I was at the White House for the #GoOpen event, speaking with educational leaders from across the country about my excitement regarding Open Educational Resources (OER). Vista Unified School District was oneContinue reading “There has never been a better time for OER”