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​​The Compton Turnaround: Students Thrive with Equity-Driven Blended Learning + PBL

Monday, December 12, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

​​The Compton Turnaround: Students Thrive with Equity-Driven Blended Learning + PBL

Presented by Dr. Darin Brawley, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District (CA); Patrick Sullivan, Principal, Compton Unified School District (CA); Jose Gonzalez, 21st Century Learning Specialist and Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Coach, Compton Unified School District (CA); Karina Sanchez, Student, Compton Unified School District (CA); and Karina Rodriguez, Student, Compton Unified School District (CA)
Moderated by Barbara Pape, Senior Director, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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Compton Unified School District and its students are thriving. District leaders have pivoted from the outdated factory model of education to a system that embraces student-centered classrooms and creates innovative pathways, such as problem-based learning and technology that allows teachers to customize instruction for students. The introduction of these new strategies was done with intentionality and included plans for teacher professional development.

The Compton Turnaround is fueled by an innovative blended​-learning​ classroom model. This approach combines personalized ​learning​ using adaptive computer ​programs​ with real-world learning​ opportunities through problem solving found in project-based learning (PBL). All teaching and learning occur in a technology-rich environment. This model, Equity-Driven Blended Learning + PBL, is designed to embrace the diversity of all Compton students, including our high percentage of African American and English learner students, and provides innovations in support of equity and transforms learning for all students.

In this edWebinar, we hear from Compton’s superintendent, a teacher, and students to learn how Compton wove together these design strategies for success. Viewers will:

  • Understand the Equity-Driven Blended Learning + PBL instructional model
  • Explore how technology and projects enhance student engagement, provide authentic learning opportunities, and personalize learning
  • Discover how a school increased student achievement through this mode, with a focus on SEL
  • Leave with examples and resources that can be replicated or modified for their school or district

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to K-12 teachers, school and district leaders, and education technology leaders.

Dr. Darin BrawleyAbout the Presenters

Dr. Darin Brawley, Compton Unified School District’s (CUSD) Superintendent, has been with the district since 2012. He has led the turnaround in student performance in CUSD which has seen both test scores and graduation rates increase. Dr. Brawley received his doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Southern California. He has a Master of Arts in educational leadership from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands. Dr. Brawley has been instrumental in exiting several schools from program improvement. Under his leadership, two schools have been awarded National Blue Ribbon status. Several schools have received Title I Performing Schools recognition, as well as California Distinguished School Awards. He is committed to continuous improvement in relation to the core mission of education.

Patrick SullivanPatrick Sullivan is an experienced educator and administrator. He received his B.A. from the University of California-Irvine and his M.A. from California State University-Fullerton. He has been with the Compton Unified School District for 23 years. Driven by student achievement outcomes, Patrick takes pride in providing students with an engaging school setting that provides them the resources to be successful in a 21st century job market. Under his leadership, his school site has been recognized by a number of organizations and the State of California for providing inner-city students opportunities to thrive academically.

Jose Gonzalez

Born in Havana, Cuba, Jose Gonzalez’s family migrated to the U.S. in 1966. Jose has lived in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and California. Jose has been an educator in Compton, California for 22 years. He began the Student Tech Team in 2016 at Bunche Middle School, became the Verizon Innovative Coach at Bunche in 2018, and continued the Davis Tech Team in 2021. His hobbies include scale-model building, Cuban-style dancing, writing poetry, being outdoors and in nature, and spending time with his granddaughter, Emma. Jose has continued his work as the 21st century learning specialist at Davis Middle School in 2021. He has a passion for teaching, collaborating with teachers, project-based learning, and working with the Davis Student Tech Team.

Jose’s recognitions include: accompanying the Davis Tech Team at numerous events and competitions—they have presented at the Verizon Virtual Conference, ITSE, and the CUE Conference; getting the Verizon Innovative School Award at Bunche Middle in 2018; being awarded the Verizon STEM Engagement Award in 2021; being one of the five teachers selected nationwide for Hispanic Heritage Month: Hispanic teachers who inspire change 2022; and appearing in numerous media such as USA Today’s Storytellers Project, SmartBrief, Good Morning America, Now This Media, Smart Media, Telemundo, Verizon Media, and Verizon Global Citizen videos.

Karina Sanchez

Karina Sanchez is in the seventh grade and in her second year in the Verizon Program. This is also her second year on the Davis Tech Team. Karina likes to crochet, play video games, draw, and enjoys being on the Robotics Team and the Davis Student Tech Team.

Karina’s school activities include: Student Tech Team; First Tech Team Robotics; creating bioluminescent starfish from recycled plastic bottles and micro:bits microprocessors; teaching teachers in the evening how to use iMovie and Tinkercad (she was one of the Davis Tech Team students who were invited to participate); and creating virtual life forms and an exoplanet world in the Cospace app. Karina is interested in using her many tech skills to run her own business.

Karina Rodriguez

Karina Rodriguez was born in Torrance, California. This is her second year in a Verizon school and first year on the Davis Tech Team. She likes to draw, play bass guitar, and enjoys being on the Robotics Team and the Davis Student Tech Team.

Karina’s school activities include: Student Tech Team; First Tech Team Robotics; and creating bioluminescent marine life forms from recycled plastic bottles and micro:bits microprocessors. Karina is interested in pursuing a career in STEM-related fields.

Barbara A. PapeAbout the Moderator

Barbara Pape, Senior Director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise, led a three-year national survey on learner variability and teacher practice, wrote the paper defining learner variability, hosts a monthly webinar series, and co-developed The IEP Project. Previously, she worked in policy analysis and communications for nonprofits and in the U.S. Senate. Barbara has written for numerous publications and was editor of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. Previously, she produced the Teaching & Learning conference for the National Board, worked in the communications office for the AFT during President Al Shanker’s tenure, and headed up government relations for the City Colleges of Chicago. She earned an Ed.M. at Harvard and coursework toward a Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Barbara launched her career as a middle school teacher in her hometown of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Personalize Learning for Learner Variability community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital PromiseDigital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.


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Monday, December 12, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST
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