To the Editor:
Questions about technology and student agency are important when defining personalized learning, (“Personalized Learning: 4 Big Questions Shaping the Movement,” November 7, 2018). However, as the stories in the special report about Chicago International Charter School Bucktown and Providence public schools illustrate, it’s just as important for schools to ask: What is our vision for student success, and what do we have to do to achieve it?
At Summit Public Schools in Redwood City, Calif., we believe that the answers to those questions should be the starting point for any conversation about personalized learning. Without a clear vision—and consensus about what outcomes students should achieve by graduation—it is challenging for communities to agree on the “how” of personalized learning.
Our vision is to equip every student to succeed in college and lead a fulfilled life. Our approach to teaching and learning, which we call Summit Learning, is designed to put students on this path by fostering mastery of content knowledge, lifelong problem-solving skills, and habits that lead to success—like goal-setting and perseverance. Through our national Summit Learning Program, we support schools across the country that share this vision. We also wrote a publicly accessible white paper, “Designing Aligned School Models: A Framework for School Improvement,” to support schools in developing an education model that meets local needs.
These conversations aren’t always easy or quick, but our experience shows that when values and vision align, schools can successfully personalize teaching and learning for all students.
Chief Program Officer
Summit Learning Program
Redwood City, Calif.
A version of this article appeared in the January 16, 2019 edition of Education Week as How We Achieve Student Success