The New Learning Standards

Article II - Creating a New Vision for Public Education

Statement of Principle

The new digital environment demands new learning standards for students so that they will have the values and the capabilities to live, learn, and earn in a free society surrounded by a world that is truly global, connected, and increasingly competitive in scope and character.

Supporting Premises

We hold that:

II.a Standards should be clear, attainable, and high enough to provide for a system of student performance variance where all can experience success and challenge.

II.b Learning should be specified to the “profound level,” that is, students are able to apply their learning to new situations, to synthesize, solve problems, create knowledge, and cultivate and utilize the full range of their capabilities.

II.c. Learning standards should embrace development of the whole person to build students’ capacity to shape their own destiny as individuals and as contributing members of society.

II.d Standards should respect and value students’ “multiple intelligences” and talents and provide opportunities for all students to excel and experience success.

II.e Standards should tap curiosity and imagination in the traditional academic core, aesthetic, and skill areas in a way that lack of proficiency in any one area does not discourage students from recognizing and pursuing their special talents and learning in other areas.

II.f New learning standards should reflect realities of the new digital era, where students are not just consumers of knowledge, but creators of knowledge.

II.g Content standards should serve as frameworks that assist teachers and students in creating learning experiences that motivate student success.

II.h Standards should be flexible enough to provide for expansion and extension by local districts and their communities.

II.i Guidance should be given to teachers’ daily work so they can make the content standards clear and compelling to their students for each unit of focus.

II.j Standards should be framed so they do not sacrifice the profound learning desired for easy and low-cost state assessment and accountability measures.

II.k When competent, caring teachers provide properly designed learning experiences in inspiring social environments, all students will engage and can meet or exceed a reasonable variance to the standards.

II.l Standards should result in all students being committed and equipped to be competent lifetime learners, well-prepared for further formal education and to pursue multiple careers.

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Questions prompted by the article

  1. Are we teaching the teachers?
  2. How well are our teachers prepared to lead this transformational process?
  3. What is the financial burden for the schools?
  4. How are we going to effectively communicate these changes to the learning community we serve?
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Implementation in the campus

  1. Peer mentorship
  2. Collaborative leadership - PLC's, data meetings, UIL
  3. Instructional coaching
  4. Student leading classes with teachers as facilitators, guiding them through the process
  5. Constant walkthroughs and observations
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Making progress toward the ideas

  1. Periodical surveys of the staff - culture, atmosphere, buy-in
  2. Checking for staff buy-in through personal meetings, small groups meetings, PLC's
  3. Peer mentorship
  4. Understand that it will be a slow, but steady implementation process
  5. Constant monitoring
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Leadership skills needed

  1. Transformational skills
  2. Learning-oriented
  3. Effective communication of goals
  4. Establishment of collaborative leadership
  5. Development of leadership skills within the educational staff
  6. Servant leadership skills
  7. Instructional coaching skills
  8. Relationship builder
  9. Active listener and action-oriented
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Big Ideas

  1. New opportunities and new ideas for our students.
  2. Our students will grow in a different world with a new array of possibilities that we never lived through.
  3. There's a wider range of differences that need to be addressed in today's world to ensure that our students' needs are met.
  4. Digital era should be embraced by teachers through a lifelong learning process, which will, in turn, pass on to our students.
  5. We should understand that we have to prepare our students for a world that still does not exist.
  6. Students should be empowered for their own learning and have a sense of classroom ownership.
  7. Social-emotional and culturally responsive needs must be met by educators.