My Solution Tree Book

By Brian M. Stack and Jonathan Vander Els, 2017
Published by Solution Tree

Foreword by Chris Sturgis
Shifting to a competency-based curriculum allows educators to revolutionize education by replacing traditional, ineffective systems with a personalized, learner-centered approach. Throughout the resource, the authors explore how the components of PLCs promote the principles of competency-based education and share real-world examples from practitioners who have made the transition to learner-centered teaching. Each chapter ends with reflection questions readers can answer to apply their own learning progression.
By reading this book, K-12 administrators, school leaders, and teacher leaders will:
  • Evaluate the qualities of true competency-based schools and the flaws in traditional schooling.
  • Consider the foundational role that PLCs have in establishing the competency-based approach and promoting learning for all.
  • Gain tips for successfully implementing student-centered practices for learning competencies and performance assessment and grading.
  • Explore real school experiences that highlight the processes and challenges involved in moving from traditional to competency-based school structures
  • Access reproducible school-design rubrics appropriate for the five design principles of competency-based learning.


Chapter 1: Understanding the Components of an Effective Competency-Based Learning System
Chapter 2: Building the Foundation of a Competency-Based Learning System Through PLCs
Chapter 3: Developing Competencies and Progressions to Guide Learning
Chapter 4: Changing to Competency-Friendly Grading Practices
Chapter 5: Creating and Implementing Competency-Friendly Performance Assessments
Chapter 6: Responding When Students Need Intervention and Extension
Chapter 7: Sustaining the Change Process
References and Resources


“This terrific book is authentic, thoughtful, and practical. It serves as an anchor in a stormy sea of policy changes by expertly laying out what school leaders can do right now to create a firm foundation for student learning.”
Douglas Reeves, founder, Creative Leadership Solutions

“A user-friendly resource for school leaders, leadership teams, and teacher leaders looking for a systematic and achievable approach to implementing competency-based learning.”
Paul Cone Jr., middle school principal, Canisteo-Greenwood Central School, New York

Breaking With Tradition is written by educators for educators who want to learn about competency-based education. ... Your first steps toward creating a system where every student is learning and progressing can start right now. Brian Stack and Jonathan Vander Els will be wonderful guides for your journey.”
From the foreword by Chris Sturgis, cofounder, CompetencyWorks


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