“I am pleased to report that the MTC network is well-poised to support the change you are eager to bring to your students,” wrote Executive Director Stacy Caldwell in her annual Fall Update out to MTC member schools. She offered a glimpse into Version 1.0 of the Mastery Transcript and provided an overview of the priorities in MTC’s Strategic Plan. Read on for more!
Letter to Member Schools
Dear Member School Colleagues:
I hope this letter finds you refreshed from your summer break and energized by the start of the school year. As we celebrate new beginnings, I am excited to report that the MTC network is well-poised to support the change you are eager to bring to your students. We are 219 member schools strong—a diverse mix of independent, public, and international schools—and continue to receive inquiries and add members each week. Generous support from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, our founding schools, and membership growth continue to provide us with a solid foundation to build upon for the future.
As we remain focused on strengthening our network, we are also at work designing the Mastery Transcript to reflect the unique skills, strengths, and interests of each learner. The year ahead will bring our transcript to life. Recently we provided a preview of our first concept model at the Big Picture Learning Conference and received both positive and constructive feedback. As our work to build the transcript continues, we will look forward to your feedback at Site Director meetings and other venues. With your help and a plan to have Version 1.0 ready for summer 2019, we are excited to see early adopters in action during the 2019–2020 academic year.
Looking to the future, our Strategic Plan calls upon us to proceed with courage and intentionality as we advance the collaborative efforts of our network. If we do our work well, the Mastery Transcript will be a catalyzing force for the innovation you bring to your classrooms everyday, helping to cultivate the creativity happening in your schools and opening up new opportunities for all students and teachers. Read on for more about our plan ahead.
1. Designing and Building the Transcript
Version 1.0 of the new Mastery Transcript will be in testing with member schools by the end of this school year. In August we held our first Prototype Working Group (PWG) meeting, bringing together a group of 17 public and independent school educators to provide feedback on our efforts to date. Representing the diversity of MTC’s member network, the PWG includes two public charter, seven independent, and eight public high schools, from across the country and world. Moving forward, we will continue to work with this group and a range of other stakeholders—counselors, higher-ed partners, students, and more—as we iterate through design models and an initial build of technology. We know that the feedback we receive will provide us with innumerable learnings as we prepare to expand to more member schools. Below is a glimpse into one of our concept models; stay tuned for updates and many ways to get involved!
2. Expanded Member Engagement Opportunities for Our Network
Our member engagement team worked throughout the summer to develop a robust program with a range of offerings for our member schools. Site Director meetings of course remain a core part of our member engagement efforts. If you are a Site Director and haven’t done so already, please make plans to attend an upcoming meeting. Also spread word at your school about our online Mastery Learning Series; a new series launches on October 15, and there is still time to register! In the months ahead, we will roll out expanded member resources online, including regular office hours, webinars, and a suite of communications tools. Early efforts have focused on sharpening our messaging and starting a new toolkit on our “Resources for Site Directors” web page. We hope the introductory slide deck and FAQ will support your discussions with faculty, staff, board members, and others, and welcome your feedback on which messages resonate and what else you need from us. This is exciting work, with much more to come!
3. Building Higher-Ed Support and Network
Growing an effective higher-ed network comprised of admissions professionals, educators, and leaders from a mix of colleges and universities throughout the country is a major priority for MTC and will call upon all of us to bring our collective wisdom and resources to the table. The counselors in your school will be a significant part of this work, but we will also rely on your input. If you have existing relationships that we can draw upon or ideas for establishing new ones, please share them with our team member, Edgar Montes, who will support this effort for MTC. We also look forward to serving on a panel at the National Association for College Admission Counseling conference, and encourage you to come check us out and invite your colleagues!
4. Building an Organization to Support Our Members
As our network of member schools continues to grow, our team and resources continue to grow as well in strategic areas. We look forward to introducing new team members at upcoming events; in the meantime check out their online bios and be in touch with ideas or questions. Planning is also underway for enhancing our partnership and development efforts in order to strengthen support for our network and transcript tool.
As we make progress on these shared goals, it is exhilarating to reflect upon how much MTC has accomplished in a short period of time. And yet, even as we take a moment to appreciate our growth, the wise words of MTC Advisory Council member and High Tech High Director Kaleb Rashad still hold: “We got work to do!”
At the center of MTC is our network and the educators and students who will animate the Mastery Transcript. As always we thank you for joining in this journey and invite you to give us feedback, share your stories, and connect with us at upcoming events. For now I’ll leave you with a fun video, “Carla’s Curriculum,” created by the Kauffman Foundation, that gets to the heart of the change our members hope to create for students.