Big Shift #1: Symptoms to Systems - January 2018 Newsletter


Happy New Year 2018! 

We hope your holiday season was rejuvenating and filled with joy.

We're starting the new year focusing on the first big shift in thinking required for real change in education: Symptoms to Systems. So much of our time in schooling and school reform is spent addressing symptomatic issues, while the real systems problems get ignored.  I've written a Medium thought piece explaining the shift, Tye Ripma wrote this REENVISIONED blog piece on his experience as a behavior specialist in schools, and you can see my interview explanation in the video below.

In other exciting news, we've officially become a project underneath the SchoolFwd Foundation!  Amongst other great benefits  of the collaboration, this means any donations you make to support the movement are tax-deductible!

As always, please consider getting involved: become a REENVISIONED educator, join our book club, make a donation, or help us grow by sharing what resonates with you on social media.  Can't wait to hear your thoughts on this month's Big Shift.



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From the outside, Palo Alto, CA seems just about perfect. Set at the center of Silicon Valley, this very wealthy suburb is home to many of tech’s world-changing-entrepreneurs-turned-billionaires that one reads about in the papers. It is a beautiful suburb, with year-round good weather, quiet tree-lined neighborhood streets, low crime, and Stanford University’s campus in its midst.

But beneath the veneer of perfection is a troubling trend...


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Join the REENVISIONED Book Club

Interested in education but not sure where to start with learning more?  Working in education and keen to have people to discuss interesting ideas with?

Want to dive deeper into the concepts and theories underlying REENVISIONED’s mission? 

Join our monthly book club with our team! 

Our first book is Creative Schools by Sir Ken Robinson. There is still time to join before our first meeting!

 Email us for more details.


Tweet us!

Share this month's posts on Twitter! Make sure to tag us @reenvisioned

“Real change in schooling will require we move from addressing symptoms to shifting systems.” —  New thought piece by @erinlynnraab @REENVISIONED on how to start systems change: #edchat

"Although my job was to treat the behavior of the child, the child was not the real problem – a schooling system that requires Ss to behave in ways that are developmentally inappropriate was the problem." - New @REENVISIONED blog by Tye @tyeripma #edchat


Calling all Educators!!

We need TWO more awesome educators to help us pilot a powerful REENVISIONED Instructional Unit

Research shows that students who have a reason why school is important to them are more engaged.  What do your students think the purpose of school should be? How do the adults in their lives define a “good life” for them? What themes emerge in your classroom and/or school?

Partner with REENVISIONED to pilot our instructional unit that has students engage in an active meaning-making research process around the purpose of school. Geared toward high school students, this 1-2 week unit has students ask meaningful questions and reflect on the purpose of life and school.  They practice important skills by interviewing each other and adults in their lives, distilling key themes from evidence, and communicating findings to a broader audience.

For more information, sign up here.

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"Want to change student behavior? Stop treating symptoms and start shifting systems."

by Tye Ripma

A few years ago, I was the behavior specialist called in to work with a child.  Kyle was 9, in third grade, and he was academically inclined - already reading books meant for fifth graders.  But he was totally disengaged from school.  He would wander around the classroom all day – picking up materials and looking them over, taping his fingers together, or poking classmates with rulers.
Teachers, you may find this story familiar. As the district behavior specialist, I encountered dozens of children just like this....

Keep Reading


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#EdLeader Michelle Rhee

"I have been a person who I think has been used effectively in that divisive dynamic, right?  People all the time would use my name and say, 'People like Michelle Rhee believe in X, Y, Z.' 

Half the time — more than half the time when I hear that stuff, I think, 'Actually, that's NOT what I believe.'...The crazy thing about it is that in some ways everybody is a little bit right, and nobody is all the way right."

- Michelle Rhee, Founder @ Students First

Read the full interview here.


Spread the word!

10,000 Stories. One Shared Vision.

REENVISIONED is a national movement to redefine the purpose of school.  We believe schools should foster flourishing individuals and a thriving democratic society.  But what does it mean to thrive or flourish? 

To answer this, we're building the world's largest collection of stories about what it means to live good lives and the role schools should play in helping create them: 10,000 stories from people across the country.  We'll use the stories to learn about our shared values and dreams and to create a new vision for why we send our children to school. 

We work with people like YOU across the country: Catalysts - individuals, classrooms, schools, and community organizations - who interview people in their communities and foster empathy nationwide by sharing the stories on our website and social media:  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (@reenvisioned).  Please follow us and spread the word!

Learn more and join the movement.