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MTC Expands Membership to Public Schools

By July 2, 2018 No Comments

Consortium announces that it officially opened membership to public schools on July 1, in effort to bring Mastery Transcript to all schools and students

Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC), a growing network of member schools who are reinventing the high school transcript, today announced that it has officially opened membership to public schools, effective July 1.

“Extending membership to public schools is an important step for MTC. This announcement is a culmination of what has been in the works for some time and paves the way for bringing a new transcript to all students,” said Stacy Caldwell, executive director of MTC. “The power that the transcript wields over the student experience and the way it shapes teaching and learning methods means that transforming the transcript can help transform the high school experience. Together our Consortium of schools is creating a high school transcript that reflects the unique skills, strengths, and interests of each learner and that supports educators in facilitating the kind of learning that they know is best for students. With a Mastery Transcript, public and private high schools alike will be better equipped to prepare students for college, career, and life.”

Working Together for Students

The existing transcript model, used by a majority of high schools since the Industrial Age, too often asks educators to sort and rank students, rather than cultivate and capture their full breadth of capabilities. In recent years, a movement has been underway to shift toward the mastery- or competency-based education model that a Mastery Transcript will support.  

“Today’s high school diplomas don’t always equate to mastery,” said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL and a member of MTC’s Board of Directors. “I’m so pleased to see the Mastery Transcript Consortium is expanding to include public schools. MTC calls for students to demonstrate a mastery of skills, knowledge, and habits of mind by presenting evidence. In our research, we estimate six to 10% of public schools and districts are creating new visions for teaching and learning toward competency-based learning systems to provide cutting-edge education models and powerful personalized learning opportunities. Competency-based transcripts provide colleges and universities with comprehensive information on a high school student’s knowledge, skills, and performance upon graduation. They communicate what a student knows and can do in the transition from secondary to postsecondary systems of education based on actual mastery and offer a comprehensive record of achievement in a competency-based learning model.”

Founded in 2017, the growing Mastery Transcript Consortium is made up of 200 high schools who have been working together to develop the Mastery Transcript, a digital transcript that is focused on Mastery Credits and designed to be readable in less than two minutes. MTC was launched by independent school members and has also collaborated with public schools since its inception, with the aim of developing the infrastructure necessary to ensure the Mastery Transcript will work for all schools and students. Bow High School, High Tech High, KM Perform, Souhegan High School, and Windsor Locks High School have been among MTC’s early public school partners, and newly joining public school members include Bronxville High School, Casco Bay High School, Enosburg Falls High School, and Gibson Ek High School.

“Today, more than ever, it’s our responsibility to co-create liberatory structures for our teachers and our schools to unearth the genius, given to every child,” said Kaleb Rashad, director of High Tech High and an MTC Advisory Council member. “How might we create opportunities for young people to do high-quality, creative, and challenging work with a real audience and with a real impact? What if we prioritized the student experience over the system? How might we design learning that requires young people to pursue important questions with each other? Every student deserves an opportunity to find themselves, their voice, and their standing in this world, including the many roses that have been trapped by the concrete of the current system. MTC is at the vanguard of making this happen, and opening membership to public schools is an important step for us. We got work to do.”

Preparing for Work Ahead

Recently MTC made key hires to help support its expansion to public schools. Susan Bell and Edgar Montes will lead member school engagement for MTC. Bell had previously served as superintendent of Windsor Locks Public Schools in Windsor, Conn, and Montes has extensive experience leading efforts to increase access for low income students, most recently serving as the executive director of a California statewide initiative through the Orange County Department of Education. Jimmy Wynn is leading MTC’s organizational advancement efforts and had most recently directed the policy and development efforts at the Harris County Department of Education in Texas. Together these recent hires bring extensive experience in working with public school systems and also enhance the MTC team overall, made up of educational professionals in diverse locations throughout the country. MTC is led by Executive Director Stacy Caldwell, who had previously served in leadership roles at The Princeton Review and in the College Board’s SAT Suite of Assessments, and advised by a Board of Directors and Advisory Council who bring vast experience in high school and higher education.

Additional plans are underway to expand MTC’s efforts with higher education and other organizations. Set to launch this fall, MTC is developing a higher-ed working group, comprised of admissions colleagues, educators, and leaders from a mix of colleges and universities throughout the country. The working group is tasked with interacting with and providing feedback on key features in the Mastery Transcript prototype, taking part in planning toward a rollout strategy, and helping to advocate broadly for the need for change within the high-school transcript and college admissions processes. MTC is also looking ahead to future collaborations with professional organizations and employers who have also expressed interest in the Mastery Transcript. Stay tuned for more information.

Resources and Research

For additional reading, take a look at research from some of the larger initiatives in education that MTC’s Advisory Council and Board members are helping to lead. They include Challenge Success, the Coalition for Access and AffordabilityEdLeader21, the Great Schools Partnership, Knowledge Works, and the “Turning the Tide” campaign within the Making Caring Common Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, among others.

Join Now: Becoming a Member

If your high school is interested in becoming a member of MTC, please contact us online or reach out to Ben Rein, senior director of outreach & partnerships, at rein@mastery.org. Benefits of membership include an opportunity to get involved in transcript workshops, a range of professional learning and networking opportunities, and the chance to bring collective wisdom to bear upon higher education and other opportunities for students. Early adopters will have the chance to help shape what the new transcript looks like and how it supports high schools in better preparing students for the future.

ABOUT MASTERY TRANSCRIPT CONSORTIUM

The Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) is a group of public and independent schools organized around the development of an alternative model of crediting and transcript design. Over the next decade, the MTC hopes to change the way students prepare for college, career, and life. A dues-based organization with hundreds of members, the MTC was awarded a $2 million matching grant by the Edward E. Ford Foundation in April 2017.

While the Mastery Transcript product itself is still in the design stage, the Consortium has quickly filled with leading schools intent on shaping a more humane, effective, and meaningful tool for inspiring learning to mastery in students and then communicating it cleanly.

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About Jenny Barker

Jenny is a writer for MTC. Contact her at barker@mastery.org.