Orly Friedman on Red Bridge School and Educating for Agency

Key Points

  • Grouping is based on autonomy levels rather than grade levels and students move forward based on their own decision. This autonomy level is decoupled from academics.

  • Compliance vs Agency – Agency is what young people really need for the future. 

RedBridge and Agency

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On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast Nate McClennen is joined by Orly Friedman Head of School at Red Bridge in San Francisco, a unique learning environment that builds agency in young people. Orly has worked in the DC public schools, Khan Lab School and with Transcend – among many other experiences. We had the chance to catch up with her at ASU-GSV and she was excited to share the story of the school. 

Nobody ever washed a rented car. If you’re going to care of something, you need to feel a sense of ownership of it.

Orly Friedman


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The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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