Distinctive Schools is Broadening the Definition of Student Success

Distinctive Schools, a charter school network based in Chicago, seeks to transform education by encouraging development of a broad set of competencies, not just those measured in accountability systems. And they are using the MyWays Student Success Framework to do it.

So this winter, when our data stared us in the face and raised their fists, at Distinctive Schools, we fought back. With the MyWays Student Success Series as our shield and sword, we approached our winter data day a little differently. We took a "yes, and" approach. Yes, the measures in our current accountability system have great importance, and we will continue to work toward meeting high-stakes testing targets and expected outcomes. We owe that to our students. However, we will use the research from MyWays as our shield to buffer the anxiety and worry that we feel in our bellies to hold off the urge to stop doing the deeper learning work we know will have a positive, lasting impact on our students and their futures. And, we have a responsibility to prepare our students with a "broader, deeper array of competencies, adjusted and tailored to individual interests and talents." We also owe that to our students. We will continue to use the research from MyWays as our sword to combat the confines of what Andy Calkins, director at NGLC, calls using factory model change efforts to end factory model schools. In short, we are committed to playing both the short game (knowledge and skills development) and the long game (deeper learning development) at the exact same time.

Working to Broaden the Definition of Success appeared on Learning Deeply on February 21, 2018.