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Chris Sturgis

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Chris Sturgis was the co-founder of CompetencyWorks, the go-to source about competency education. Her knowledge of modern education models have developed by visiting over 100 schools that are leading the way in the U.S. and New Zealand. In 2018, she was awarded Outstanding Individual Contribution to Personalized Learning Award by iNACOL (now Aurora Institute). You can find more articles about personalized, mastery learning approaches at LearningEdge.

Preparing for Conversations with Parents

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Designing conversations with parents about their student's academic levels, pace, and progress in competency-based education and helping parents and their students appreciate the value of personalized learning.emphasis on personalized learning based on where students are in their learning

Optimizing Personalized, Blended, Competency-based Schools

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Wouldn’t teachers start to have those “what if” moments at lunch or walking in from the parking lot about how they could combine different elements of the different strands of innovation. Wouldn’t students start to bring ideas between classrooms about how their project-based learning could really benefit from having access to some of the resources on-line or how they might be able to create more deeper learning projects if once a week there was a three-hour open period to work on projects so they could get o they could get 4′s not just 3′s for “grades”?

Takeaways and New Questions from EAA School Visits

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I encourage you to take the time to put a team together or even a cross-district or cross-state team to go visit Nolan Elementary, Phoenix Multicultural, Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts, and Southeastern Technical High School sooner than later. Michigan and Detroit have a lot of volatile political dynamics (i.e things change), and I’d hate for people to miss the chance to see what can happen when you integrate personalized, mastery-based, and blended into a “student-centered” model of learning.

New Paper on Student Supports in Competency-Based Environments

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In December 2012, CompetencyWorks released The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment. The paper delves into the fourth element of the definition: Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.

Building with Rammed Earth

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This year I had the great fortune of getting to know some thoughtful charter school leaders from across the country. They were convened by the Partners forDeveloping Futures, a group that makes grants to promising charter schools who are led by people of color. I just returned from a trip to New York City where our group visited three schools that were in their early stages of development and exemplars of school design.

Customizing Without Computers

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I saw the future of high schools yesterday. It wasn't about cool digital aps, laptops, or talking to other young people on the other side of the world. It was re-engineering schooling around young people and their lives. Only in its second year,ACE Leadership High School, a charter school in Albuquerque, has the key to to unlocking our young people's hearts and minds.

Neural Gawkiness

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Adults' enduring perplexity about teenagers are captured in quotes by Aristotle and Shakespeare in The New Science of the Teenage Brain, the cover story of the October National Geographic. The article by David Dobbs explains how young people's lives are shaped by the mind-blowing reorganization occurring in the brains of adolescents between the ages of 12-25. The article is fascinating and worth reading the entire piece. It's also a fabulous tool for us to use to get policymakers attention to why so many policies and programs like Scared Straight, lock them up, and zero tolerance don't work. So after reading the article, spend a few minutes sending an email or two or a letter to the editor in your local paper.

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