Call for New School Models Based on the Theory of Change

students-at-computerThe NewSchools Venture Fund (a nonprofit philanthropy organization working to transform public education) released a report titled, Dissatisfied but Optimistic, which outlines the need for and a path toward developing new models of school. While academic success is still a desired outcome for public education, the report writers advocate that students need more than that to realize their potential. They also need “critical habits of success such as self-awareness, agency, drive, curiosity and empathy.” Schools must be designed to help young people develop a full array of skills that will help them find success in college or career.

While they are not the originators of this idea, the report writers point out that the traditional school model was designed to fit the individual into the system. The new model needs to fit the system to the individual.

The report adopts the theory of change for its recommendations by focusing on the innovators and early adopters who will take public education to the tipping point.

Unlike others who have called for new education models for public schools, the NewSchools Venture Fund offers a methodology that can broaden and sustain the kind of change we need in public schools. Their ideas provide a wider platform of innovation and sustainability than our current one-dimensional approach of changing standards or focusing on individual curriculum areas such as reading and math.

For a deeper dive into the supporting research and details of the report’s recommendations and the authors’ personal commitments to creating change, check out this fascinating report.

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annie teichAnnie Galvin-Teich is an independent writer, researcher, and education marketing consultant with more than 25 years of K-12 experience. She is also a regular guest blogger for MCH Strategic Data. Annie can be reached at The Teich Group, Inc.