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Getting Smart Podcast

Nov 28, 2018

For the past two episodes, the Getting Smart team have envisioned what the future of learning might look like with the authors of Education Reimagined’s new paper, “School’s Out.” On their final episode of their three-part series, Tom speaks with Tom Rooney, the Superintendent of Lindsay Unified Public Schools.


Lindsay Unified is located in the central valley of California. They are situated in one of the highest poverty areas in the nation. 100% of their learners are on free or reduced lunch, 53% come to their doors not speaking English, and about 33% come from the migrant farming community. They have a deep understanding that many learners have not been receiving the level of education that leads to success in life. With that in mind, their work focuses on meeting learners at their level, with student-centered and performance-based work to lead them to successand it’s proven successful! They’ve gone from having a 67% graduation rate to a 94% graduation rate this past year.


In today’s episode, Tom and Tom speak about lessons learned from Lindsay Unified and how the community can play an active role in the future of learning, as well as key learnings from Tom’s paper: “School’s Out: Who Takes Responsibility for the Education of Young People?”


Key Takeaways:

[:14] About today’s episode.

[1:00] Tom welcomes Tom Rooney to the podcast.

[1:09] Tom explains the origin story of the student-centered, performance-based work he’s doing at Lindsay Unified Public Schools.

[6:06] About Lindsay Unified’s vision of meeting learners at their level and how that guarantees success.

[8:36] How Lindsay Unified’s teachers seamlessly work together and the incredible benefits of that.

[11:06] Tom speaks about the support they’ve received from various organizations and how it has helped Lindsay Unified.

[13:52] The work that Tom and Lindsay Unified have accomplished with the help of Empower Learning.

[15:30] Tom and Tom dive into Tom’s paper: “School’s Out: Who Takes Responsibility for the Education of Young People?” Tom first speaks about the role professional educators might play if the current system was reimagined.

[19:33] Tom’s ideas (from his paper) on the two new roles of personal life coaches and opportunity creators.

[22:04] Barriers and opportunities to Tom’s vision for the future of learning in Lindsay.

[24:49] Will there be any transportation barriers in Tom’s vision?

[26:55] As Tom thinks about the School’s Out conversation, he offers some practical pieces of advice for those in education could work on this week.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Previous episode: Episode 174 — “Schools Out: Engaging Families and the Community

Previous episode: Episode 175 Schools Out: Anywhere, Anytime Learning, and the Role of Technology

Education Reimagined

Schools Out: What if Schools, As We Know Them, Didnt Exist?”

Schools Out: What if School Didnt Exist?”

Schools Out: Who Takes Responsibility for the Education of Young People?” (Toms paper)

Lindsay Unified Public Schools

Gates Foundation


Transcend Education

Columbia University

Empower Learning


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