reDesign Blog

June 11, 2017

Who's Leading the Way?

A Promising Competency-based Model for Historically Marginalized Students Competency-based education models are complicated organisms, and staging their development and growth is generally a multi-year task, whether one is a launching a new...

June 4, 2017

Leveling the Playing Field

Asynchronous Learning in High-Poverty, Competency-based Urban High Schools At the U School we are big believers in the notion that skillful, independent learning is central to leading a meaningful and productive life...But what happens if...

March 22, 2017

Can Literature Make Our Nation Less Insular?

I grew up in a “flyover” state that is most notable for its spotlight in a 1930’s film where a young lady tries to escape the ennui of her farm life by running away to something bigger and brighter, just “over the rainbow.” The community I grew up...

October 15, 2016

#College Ready? Designing Projects for Historically Underserved Students

My first competency-based project began in 1993, as part of the founding design team of a small, alternative public high school in New York City. Like so many design teams we were committed to developing a curriculum that was culturally relevant and...

October 9, 2016

What IS the difference between competencies and standards?

Though often described interchangeably, competencies and standards are in some ways world’s apart.   If you’re asking this question, then well done, you! This question is a bridge from the old world order (of formal schooling)...

October 3, 2016

Let every voice be heard: 6 activities to spark better class discussion

Reflections on pedagogy that works for marginalized students   I have a confession: I hate class discussions. I hate them because they remind me of baseball--which, however, I do enjoy. So please, let me explain. In baseball, most...