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Making Summer Learning Meaningful

As we countdown the days to summer break, school leaders are thinking about summer opportunities for staff professional learning and development. Many of our innovative school peers offer or seek out opportunities to improve their practice and to help teachers further personalize learning for students. Summer feels like a “reset” - a time to [...]

By |2019-06-06T14:02:17-04:00June 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

In the News: Building 21 Allentown receives Gold Level “Governor’s Civic Engagement Award”

"Students and staff at Building 21 were honored Monday by the state for its student voter registration drive. The drive signed up 58 students, representing 87 percent of the students who were eligible to register. That earned the school a gold level Governor’s Civic Engagement Award." Building 21's accomplishment was highlighted in two articles [...]

By |2019-05-03T10:44:59-04:00May 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

In the News: How $5B Could Provide A Great Education For Every Kid On Earth

"That’s a big budget! With resources of that size, smart teams could take on the most interesting opportunity of our time—quality elementary and secondary education for every young person on earth." "Platform networks that share outcome frameworks (we call them diploma networks like Building 21) have the potential to help schools adopt new goals and learning models [...]

By |2019-04-11T10:37:08-04:00April 11th, 2019|Building 21 News, School Redesign, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Call for Creative Educators!

Do YOU BELIEVE in US?? Then we need YOU at Building 21! Building 21 is now hiring for Fall 2015! Are you a creative teacher who is passionate about learning and wants to rethink what is possible in high school -- or do you know someone who is?  Then Building 21 may be [...]

By |2015-02-18T20:35:24-04:00February 18th, 2015|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Π Day Epiphanies

On 3.14 this year, I sent an email to the team wishing everyone a Happy Pi Day. For fun, I threw in a little brain teaser: what other day of the year could stand in and serve as Pi Day and why? I’m so glad I chose to do that. What a delight! I didn't [...]

By |2014-06-02T20:47:32-04:00June 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Competency-Based Grading

We recently revisited the question, "Why competency-based education?" as a way to step back from our work. As Chip puts it, "Nothing is sacred." We believe that what we are doing transcends any model or method. They are just vehicles to realize our vision. Currently, I am neck deep in the process of envisioning a [...]

By |2017-04-06T00:05:01-04:00May 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Learning Through Doing: Grammar

The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar Boston Public Library/Wikimedia Commons This recent piece in The Atlantic makes a compelling case for interest-based learning. Instead of forcing students to master a set of mundane grammatical rules before getting to the "fun" part of writing about things they are interested in, we should throw them [...]

By |2014-03-06T02:59:16-04:00March 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Using Design Thinking in Education

If I had to pick a video that explains in an approximate way what we're seeking to do at Building 21 in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, this would be it. I enjoyed the entire sixteen and three-quarter minutes of it and was especially fond of Studio H's 6 Design Directives which can be [...]

By |2014-02-21T23:09:37-04:00February 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Competency vs. Mastery vs. Proficiency

I am knee deep in the competency world and have read everything I can find about how to define this work.  Is it Competency-based education, or Mastery-based Education or Proficiency-based Education?  All of these terms are being used interchangeably, but do they really mean the same thing?  I don’t think that they do. Here is [...]

By |2014-02-21T23:08:24-04:00February 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|3 Comments