"To meet the needs of today's and future learners, we need
education systems that validate the wide array of skills and
attributes needed from early childhood through a long, varied
career," Mantella said. "Having this group of stakeholders
from various professions take the time to reimagine how we measure
achievement in education is energizing and inspiring."
Polston highlighted the power trying some new things collectively.
"To truly achieve excellence and equity, we also need
innovation," Polston said. "We need to act now. We need urgency."
The current educational system of certifying success through
measurements such as transcripts and test scores doesn't capture a
person's full abilities, organizers said.
The options for attaining and measuring competencies have broadened,
they said. A talent portfolio showing a wide range of experiences,
obtained both formally and informally, provides a fuller picture of an individual.
Participants recounted some learners they have known and how the
current system impeded their potential:
- Students who showed unexpected entrepreneurial chops outside the classroom.
- Middle schoolers in a city who had already developed life skills
to get to school that resemble a work commute.
- An adult learner whose job experience catapulted him farther down
the educational track than expected.
- A student who knew how to play by the rules of the system to show
achievement attained, but who wasn't taking the chances that truly