What could possibly be more innovative…?

Alanna Kotler. eJewishPhilanthropy. College Admissions and “Measuring” Students: A Different Approach for Day Schools.

As the pressures of college admission weigh on teachers and students alike, the way we teach at the upper levels becomes more about students’ transcripts than the real-world, relevant work students could be doing, or perhaps already are. As I have written before about innovation in schools, what could possibly be more innovative than changing how we define success and actual learning for our students? Admittedly, college admission has not quite caught up to the changing and improving trends in education, but day schools can join a movement that has.

The Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) is working to answer the (right) question: How can high schools show a student’s “unique skills, strengths and interests?” Its goal is to provide colleges with a holistic understanding of a student, while also allowing schools to provide “a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum that will best prepare our students for a complex and interconnected world.” To-date, out of the approximate 200 independent schools that are part of the Consortium, there is only one Jewish Day School participating – Gann Academy in Boston, MA. What would it take for more Jewish day schools to join the movement? There is no doubt that this type of change would be extremely hard and time-intensive, but this would offer a radical improvement for our students: interdisciplinary, real-world learning environments and curricula.

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