Tuesday, December 23, 2008

School to Eliminate Grade-Levels, Ability Equals Promotion

Here, here! A school district has decided due to low enrollment and low test scores it will no longer assign students to grade levels, but instead, promote based upon ability to master standards. This is a model used in the work world for years. What a wonderful idea -- if students are allowed to move at their own pace -- and not when convenient for administrators, teachers and other personnel. Likewise, an employee who is permitted to move at his or her own accomplishment level may reach the boardroom in record time, given the opportunity and erasure of artificial time constraints.

The question is, "What would you accomplish if you knew you could move through the learning system based upon how quickly you proved you knew the skills?"
Here's an excerpt of the original article from the Denver Post:

A school district in Westminster struggling with declining enrollment and falling test scores will try something revolutionary next year that many say never has been accomplished in the Lower 48.

Adams 50 will eliminate grade levels and instead group students based on what they know, allowing them to advance to the next level after they have proved proficiency.

"If they can pull this off, it will be a lighthouse for America's challenged school districts," said Richard DeLorenzo, the consultant who implemented a standards-based model in Alaska and is working with Adams 50. "It will change the face of American education."

To read the full story, please visit the Denver Post here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learn to Fall

Today I received a newsletter in my in-box for writers. In that was an article by Jodi Thomas a the New York Times and US Today bestselling author of over 25 novels, including her latest, Tall, Dark, and Texan (Jove, 2008). The one tip she had for writers was "learn to fall."

Why YOU Need to Learn to Fall
It doesn't matter if you're still in the classroom or in corporate America. The world will not always give you exactly what you want. Some days, you just might get a whole bucket full of rejection, setbacks and conflict. If you can get up, keep going, focus on the goal, not the setbacks, you'll get the results you want.

Edison's Take on Falling: Falling is NOT Failing
"During all those years of experimentation and research, I never once made a discovery. All my work was deductive, and the results I achieved were those of invention, pure and simple." --On his years of research in developing the electric light bulb, as quoted in "Talks with Edison" by George Parsons Lathrop in Harpers magazine, Vol. 80 (February 1890), p. 425
No where does he say he was a failure. He just said he didn't make a discovery. How you frame your work decides your final success or other outcome.