For an organization that’s only a few months old, The Mastery Transcript Consortium has made quite a splash.
We weren’t all that surprised about the extent of the media attention because the story of the MTC is compelling on its face. It’s not every day, after all, that a group of leading schools from around the world gathers to change a light bulb let alone reimagine the foundation of high school education and college admissions.
As the articles flowed in, we were of course curious about how people would respond to the arguments against the current high school transcript and all it requires and determines.
It was heartening to read when writers and commenters understood the very real problems the Mastery Transcript is trying to solve.
It was also enlightening — and challenging — to read the critiques. Even here, though, we learned about what issues we need to attend to in both our design of the Mastery Transcript and our communications about it.
It’s clear that the arguments for changing the transcript resonate with many people. They, too, see the current system’s flaws:
- The current transcript does not reliably or effectively capture a student’s full range of talents, knowledge and understanding.
- The drive to distinguish themselves in the college process leads many students to ratchet up their course loads at the expense of their mental health and their authentic intellectual curiosity.
- And perhaps most convincingly, a content and grade-based education struggles to equip students with the skills, knowledge and characteristics they’ll need for the world they’ll inherit.
While those arguments are persuasive or at least compelling to many people, some wonder whether the Mastery Transcript is too idealistic or — worse – an elaborate marketing scheme to make independent schools more attractive. That could not be farther from the truth.
At the heart of the MTC are two core beliefs:
- The current state of affairs is antiquated and frequently destructive
- And change will happen only when high schools and colleges, educators and administrators of all kinds join together in partnership.
We need to make sure that everyone understands that our work is part of a movement that aims to reshape educational opportunities for students in public and private schools.
The MTC has taken the first steps, and people have noticed. Our plan is to keep going until we reach the finish line. Based on the response our first months have generated, we have a sense that more articles will follow as the discussion deepens and extends.
The bottom line is that we think we’re on to something. Check out a few of the pieces that came out over the last weeks and let us know what you think:
- The Christian Science Monitor: “Could a Different Kind of Transcript Revitalize High-School Learning?”
- Forbes: “A Proposal to Radically Revise High School Transcripts May Alter College Admission”
- Inside Higher Ed: “A Plan to Kill High School Transcripts…and Transform College Admissions”
- Education Writers Association Podcast: “Goodbye, High School Transcripts?”
- Teen Vogue: “High School Group Tries to Get Rid of Transcripts”
- Ed Surge: “Looking to Ditch Traditional Grades? Here’s How to Get Stakeholders on Board”
- Crain’s Cleveland Business: “They’re Not Sticking to the Script.”