Giving Compass' Take:

• Transcripts can reveal a lot about schools' schedules, structures, and use of time. The pandemic brings challenges and opportunities for schools to creatively empower students and increase access to learning. 

• How school administrations implement innovative schedules that prioritize access and equity? 

• Read more on how school districts can prepare for coronavirus. 

If you want to understand a school’s values and priorities, look at its transcripts. Like sedimentary rocks, schedules can reveal where—and even why—gaps between student potential and opportunity emerge and where they begin to calcify.

Years from now, when we look back on how the pandemic transformed education, transcripts will read like a “tale of the tape” for how we addressed—and sought to correct—systemic inequities within our schools. Because more than strategic plans, speeches or even vision statements, transcripts show whether we, as school and district leaders, are following through on the promises we’re making to our students.

Transcripts show the courses we offer and whether (and which) students had the time (and opportunity) to take them. They highlight the philosophies we use to determine teacher assignments and course offerings. They reflect the tough compromises that sometimes come at the intersection of aspiration and operation.

At their core, transcripts provide a record of the ways in which our values have been translated into practice through the invisible hand of scheduling. Often overlooked as a lever for equity, schedules form the operational blueprint of our schools. But too often, scheduling decisions have little to do with the capabilities and motivations of students, and more to do with judgment calls made by adult decision-makers.

Read the full article about schools and values-based transcripts by Cheryl Hibbeln at EdSurge.