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“Stacy brings to our Consortium an exceptional understanding of the intersection of preparation for college and college admissions. With her wealth of experience, she will offer rare and powerful insights into the forces shaping the industry that often defines and limits the educational opportunities high schools offer to learners,” said Scott Looney, board chair and founder of MTC, in a letter to membership. “Our MTC Board is deeply grateful to Trish for her leadership during the past year and for her wisdom in helping us to identify Stacy as MTC’s next executive director.”
Most recently serving as Chief Product Officer for The Princeton Review (TPR), Caldwell was responsible for the company’s ongoing innovation and development of education solutions for individuals, high schools, and colleges. Prior to her work with TPR, Caldwell served as vice president for the SAT Suite of Assessments, playing the lead role during the most recent redesign of the SAT—including working with a wide-ranging set of partners in both high school and higher education. Her previous roles include business and instructional technology positions at SCORE! Educational Centers and Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions and consulting roles at Bain & Company and Arthur Andersen. Caldwell’s own academic career includes an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MA in Education and an MBA from Stanford. She will bring to the MTC a deep knowledge of the challenges it faces and influence it can have.
“Bravo! It’s hard to imagine someone better suited to lead the Mastery Transcript Consortium than Stacy Caldwell,” commented Andy Calkins, director of Next Gen Learning Challenges at EDUCAUSE and a member of MTC’s Advisory Council. “The high school transcript, like the SAT, has enormous influence—both direct and indirect—on the goals and practices of K-12 education in the U.S. It urgently needs a thorough redesign to make it a better fit with the skills students need to thrive in the 21st century. Stacy led the redesign of the SAT at the College Board–an important undertaking, but that was just for practice. Now she’ll lead an initiative with the potential to fundamentally change the goal-line of secondary education, and all for the better.”
Caldwell says that among her first priorities are getting to know educators at member schools and working alongside the teachers and changemakers who will design the digital Mastery Transcript. Her vision includes bringing the transcript to public schools as well as private schools and helping educators use it as they prepare students for the world they will graduate into, whether college or career.
“This is an exciting time to lead this Consortium, both because of where it is and where we are in education today,” said Caldwell. “With a new transcript in development, a growing and energetic membership base, and ongoing work with private and public schools, MTC is in a unique position to help change how students prepare for college, get admitted to college, and even develop skills for their future careers. I’ve seen firsthand how the current model does not serve students and am excited to work with teachers who will lead the charge to design a new transcript that more fully supports innovative education models. I’m thankful to Scott, Trish, and MTC’s entire leadership for taking up this important cause.”
MTC consists of 160+ member schools who seek to develop and distribute an alternative model of assessment, crediting, and transcript generation. Members are committed to presenting an authentic picture of the whole student and demonstrating a mastery of skills, knowledge, and habits of mind, rather than displaying traditional letter grades, which they believe undermine the learning process and create high-stress environments for students and their teachers. The Consortium was founded in March 2017 and was awarded the Collaborative Innovation Grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation.
“It has been an enormous privilege to have served as a member of the MTC Board of Directors and more recently, as the interim executive director,” said Russell. “I’m grateful to Scott Looney and his Hawken School colleagues for founding the MTC and inviting Phillips Academy to participate. With Stacy’s experience and leadership, the MTC is poised to help schools to better fulfill their mission of creating opportunities for young people to grow and learn. Working with and learning from people across so many schools is inspiring and gives me incredible hope in young people and their futures.”
Russell had previously served as dean of studies, as a science teacher, and in other roles at Phillips Academy Andover for 28 years. Under Russell’s leadership, membership has rapidly expanded, an MTC staff team formed, and educators took part in MTC member meetings throughout the country to start building the new transcript.