Yes, Change is Hard by Donna Stone

I would like to respond to the NY Times article about Summit Learning.

My name is Donna Stone, I am a lifelong learner and have been committed to ensuring that ALL students receive an equitable and high-quality education for the last 20 years.   I am Executive Director of NE Basecamp, an educational nonprofit whose mission is to support teachers and school leaders through change. One change we support is the shift to personalized learning.  An important part of our work is to support schools throughout New England wishing to implement the Summit Learning Model of instruction. It is a model of instruction- not an ed-tech tool and not a program that replaces teachers with computers.  There is no learning without the teacher. When implemented with fidelity the instructional model deepens teachers’ practices and empowers them to offer the level of deep learning that more than likely brought them to this profession in the first place.  Yes, it is a shift in instructional practices. Yes, it is more rigorous for both students and teachers than what they have been asked to do in the past- but concerning the sad state of our current educational system why would we not be asking teachers and students to do more, to dig deeper and raise the bar of teaching and learning.  The weight of this change is on the shoulders of our teachers, but without the support from school/district leaders and the community how can they persevere through this shift- a shift that will positively impact the future of our children.

Change is hard!  We have a duty to change education in our country.  We should be standing behind districts willing to stand up and say we are not doing the best we can for our students and we are willing to work harder, ask our students to have ownership over their learning and prepare them for their future life choices whatever that may be.   We need the steadfastness required to see change through to fruition. If not, we will continue to fail our students.

Rather than exploit this work- whether it is Summit Learning or any other model of personalized learning we should be rallying behind these brave educators and shout we support you and we want what is best of our students-our children- our future.

I ask you to weigh hyperbolic negative “reporting” against our need to better support our educators and students.  Ask yourself- is this the truth. Get involved. Visit schools. Do all you can to help our dedicated teachers make the shift in their own practices so we may prepare ALL students for the future they deserve.  Is that too much to ask?

I invite you to visit our schools where teachers and students are working tirelessly to make a difference, to open not only doors but windows and who are committed to improving education today and every tomorrow. Summit Learning is not a magic wand- it is a path to follow on the journey and we are committed to the steadfastness it takes to realize real lasting change.


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