Over the last months, the MTC has made some great friends from every corner of the globe. We’ve connected with not only independent school educators but also teachers and administrators from the public school and the college worlds. Clearly, the recent media attention has helped spread the word about the MTC, but the real magnet for these connections is the MTC’s goal and vision.
To that end, we’re excited to announce the MTC’s Advisory Council, which is comprised of educational leaders who are eager to help counsel the MTC on how best to develop the Mastery Transcript. Among those who agreed: Randy Bass – Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University and Susan Bell — Superintendent of Windsor Locks Public Schools. In other words, the MTC will gain from the wisdom of highly selective universities and high performing public schools alike.
And that’s just the start. We also have a Board that includes educational leaders and thinkers whose perspectives will shape our work. Among those on the Board: Tony Wagner whose recent piece on WBUR’s website captured the stakes of the MTC’s work particularly well. In it, he writes, “After 124 years, it’s time to reimagine the high school curriculum for the 21st century and to encourage teaching and assessment of the skills and dispositions that matter most. Our students deserve a more accurate measure, and they shouldn’t have to wait another century for their transcripts to better reflect their accomplishments.”
Each time a member of the MTC or a Board member or, now, a member of the Advisory Council speaks, it advances the discussion around mastery-based education. This is a movement as much as it is a consortium, and it moves forward conversation by conversation.
Sometimes we don’t even have to be part of the exchange to benefit from the chatter. This week, The Great Schools Partnership published an article called “70 New England Institutions of Higher Education State that Proficiency-Based Diplomas Do Not Disadvantage Applicants.”
Needless to say, the headline caught our eye. The article summarizes key findings from an in-depth project that the The New England Secondary School Consortium conducted with The New England Board of Higher Education. The results of the project were published as a white paper in The New England Journal of Higher Education.
The results are highly encouraging for the MTC’s work. According to the article, “70 public and private institutions of higher education from across New England…provided statements and letters stating—unequivocally—that students with proficiency-based grades and transcripts will not be disadvantaged in any way.”
This is incredibly good news. From the outset, we’ve known that many in the college world are acutely aware of how obsolete the current high school transcript is just as they are cognizant of the toll that the fevered college process can take on many students. Their partnership in this work will be essential, and it’s heartening to learn how open many of them are to our approach.
The work of the MTC is a marathon, not a sprint. We have years of prototyping, testing and refining ahead of us.
It’s hard not to feel encouraged, though. We can feel the momentum building. Can you?