High School Redesign in Virginia,  Multipliers Book Review, Upcoming PreK/ Kindergarten Conference!
Feature Article
Authentic Redesign: 
Bridging High School  and Workforce Development
Patrick K. Murphy, Superintendent, 
Arlington Public Schools

Public educators are rethinking how to prepare children for their future in the workforce, and we are about to take a step from a  standardized test-driven model to a more balanced approach. 

A Shift towards Authentic Learning
Recently the Virginia Board of Education shared initial draft documents outlining proposed new requirements for earning a diploma. As drafted, the diploma would require students to earn 26 standard credits and four verified credits along with credentials for Applied Knowledge and Skills. This is a change from current graduation requirements for earning Standard and Advanced Diplomas where students are required to earn a higher number of verified credits by passing a series of tests. The new draft proposal is parallel to the Advanced Diploma in requiring students to earn 26 standard credits but differs by decreasing the number of verified credits from nine to four – one in each of the core subject areas.

What really stands out in this proposal and deserves further examination is the introduction of the new graduation component, Applied Knowledge and Skills. This reflects an emphasis on elements such as communication, collaboration, critical and creative thinking and citizenship while providing the skills, background and hands-on experiences for “what students want to be when they grow up.”  I firmly believe this is where we need to take stock of what many school divisions across the Commonwealth are already doing. We have an opportunity to learn from each other, building upon what is already in place and accelerating the work of State Legislators and the State Board of Education. This is also the ideal venue to create a robust and comprehensive graduation system that focuses on providing the essential skills and experiences that students will need, based on recommendations from colleges, employers and communities. Taking this step is timely and progressive, recognizing a shift from a standardized test environment that has dominated education since the 1990’s to more authentic and project-based learning experiences where students demonstrate and apply their knowledge and skills.
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This month's book review
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders  Make Everyone Smarter
by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown
Review by Ebbie Linaburg, Asst. Superintendent, Shenandoah County 

Have you ever worked for someone who helped you acquire more skills and grow professionally in ways you had not imagined? If so, you may have been working for a Multiplier a leader who is not only capable and intelligent but who also cultivates talents in all who work with him or her.  Conversely, those leaders who drain the energy and ideas out of those who work with them and sometimes even shut down those who do not agree are Diminishers.  Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown explore the differences between those leaders who create more talented workers and those who devalue their employees in Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.  
                                                                                  Read more......
Age-Appropriate Classrooms for Young Children:
VASCD's First PreK-Kindergarten Conference

June 22
Salem, VA