New England Secondary School Consortium

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Consortium News

Stories from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

  • Work-Based Learning Programs Gaining Traction in Vermont

    Work-based learning programs are slowly gaining traction in Vermont and other states as schools consider ways to better prepare students for college and careers. Educators and experts say such programs may engage disengaged students, increase graduation and attendance rates, and help students develop career goals at an earlier point in their lives.

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  • How Manchester School of Technology High School Is Retooling Education

    Students rarely see textbooks at the Manchester School of Technology High School (MST-HS), a low-slung utilitarian building a few miles from the river where high-tech businesses occupy former textile mills. In most classes, they don’t get standard letter grades. They don’t automatically move on to the next level at the end of the school year, but instead advance once they have mastered the material. Students buttress their classroom learning with real-world experiences – such as building a house or working as a chef – to help prepare for future careers.

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  • Local Colleges: No Grades? No Problem.

    While some Burlington High School students worry that their school's shift to individualized learning will hurt their access to higher education, representatives from regional colleges say the change will have minimal impact on admissions. “I think it’s a major concern for students and families as they go to incredibly competitive colleges around the country,” said Jocelyn Fletcher Scheuch, the Burlington School District’s proficiency-based learning coordinator. The switch to proficiency or standards-based learning comes as Vermont law (under Act 77) mandates that public schools provide flexible and personalized pathways toward graduation. This school year marks the start of full implementation at the high school. Fletcher Scheuch believes the high school will maintain its reputation among college admissions officers of providing quality education and that the new system will boost confidence in what students have learned and how well they’ve learned it.

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  • Metropolitan Business Academy Tests A Non-Test Idea

    The point of the exercise wasn’t to convince students about the merits or drawbacks of charters. It was to teach the students a useful, lasting skill, apply that skill to a subject relevant to their lives, tell them the expectations in advance, and then evaluate their work in a common, rigorous way. Unlike high-pressure standardized tests, these projects — designed by teachers rather than faceless outsiders — aim to overcome racial and income biases to provide more meaningful measurements of learning.

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  • issue-8

    New England’s High School Graduation Rates on the Rise

    New England’s four-year high school graduation rate increased by nearly eight percentage points from 2009 to 2015, according to an annual report from the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Common Data Project, which was publicly released today. This increase in graduation rates represents several thousand additional high school students earning diplomas in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont than would have graduated if rates remained the same as in the project’s baseline year of 2010. During the same six-year period, all five Consortium states enacted or strengthened education policies that support proficiency-based, student-centered teaching and learning practices. This is the Consortium’s fourth annual public report on Common Data Project findings.

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  • sclpodcast

    Competency-Based Learning in Your Classroom

    The Student Centered Learning Podcast host, Arthur Eduardo Baraf, interviews Courtney Jacobs to discuss the “what” and “why” of Competency-Based Learning, and the “how” of implementation. Courtney is a senior associate at the Great Schools Partnership.→Listen...

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  • Under the Hood of Personalized Learning: A New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Explains

    Since its inception in 2002, Making Community Connections Charter School (MC2) has been committed to personalizing learning. Providing the conditions that enable all individuals to become empowered with the knowledge and skills to use their voices effectively and with integrity in co-creating our public global world, MC2 intentionally focuses on students’ gifts and abilities, leveraging learners’ strengths while providing multiple strategies for addressing challenges.

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