Preparing Students for the Rapidly-Changing World: Implications for Instruction and Assessment (Forum 2)

Preparing Students for the Rapidly-Changing World: Implications for Instruction and Assessment (Forum 2)
Preparing Students for the Rapidly-Changing World: Implications for Instruction and Assessment (Forum 2)


This is the second in a series of three forums to discuss new strategies for instruction and assessment in the knowledge economy, which demands more adults with postsecondary credentials. This forum highlighted new strategies for instruction and their implications for teacher training and professional development. Education expert Tony Wagner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education provided an overview of the skills students need to be successful in today’s economy, and presented new findings about professional development from his recent research of Finland’s education system. Dr. Wagner was joined by Monica Martinez, President of the New Tech Network, a network of public high schools that has pioneered a model of collaborative, project-based learning paired with innovative uses of technology. As of Fall, 2010, there will be 64 New Tech High Schools nationwide.





Tony Wagner has served as Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group (CLG) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education since its inception in 2000.  An initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CLG is an “R & D” center that helps teams to be effective change leaders in schools and districts.  He is also on the faculty of the Executive Leadership Program for Educators, a joint initiative of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Business School, and Kennedy School of Government.  Tony consults widely to public and independent schools, districts, and foundations around the country and internationally and has been Senior Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the past nine years.

Tony has worked for more than thirty-five years in the field of school improvement, and he is a frequent keynote speaker and widely published author on education and society.  Prior to assuming his current position at Harvard, Tony was a high school teacher for twelve years; a school principal; a university professor in teacher education; co-founder and first executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility; project director for the Public Agenda Foundation in New York; and President and CEO of the Institute for Responsive Education. He earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching and Doctorate in Education at Harvard University.

Tony’s publications include numerous articles and four books. Tony’s latest book, The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children NeedAnd What We Can do About It has just been published by Basic Books.  His other titles include: Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools, Making the Grade: Reinventing America’s Schools, and How Schools Change: Lessons from Three Communities Revisited.


Monica Martinez is President of the New Tech Network and brings to New Tech more than 20 years of experience leading national education innovation and reform. As President, she directs the organization’s strategic direction, development and future growth. Among the chief initiatives for New Tech is strategically expanding its network of schools. Prior to becoming President, Monica was New Tech’s Chief Operating Officer, helping to architect its growth strategy and strategic partnerships. Monica joined New Tech from KnowledgeWorks, a leading developer of innovative approaches to high schools in the United States and New Tech’s parent company. As Vice President of Education Strategy, Monica led KnowledgeWorks’ efforts to advance the national education landscape. Her accomplishments include designing the foundation’s long-range strategic plan and steering development of the “2020 Forecast” on the future of learning.

As a Senior Associate at the Institute for Educational Leadership, Monica founded the Washington, D.C.-based National High School Alliance, a partnership of more than 40 organizations sharing a common commitment to promoting the excellence, equity and development of high school-age youth. Monica began her career working at higher education institutions including the University of Maryland, New York University and Williams College. Monica is a columnist for Phi Delta Kappan and a contributing author to Double the Numbers for College (Harvard Press), Saving America’s High School (Urban Institute) and independent reports. She is a national public speaker on the topics of education reform, high school innovation and the future of learning. She serves on the boards of Grant Makers for Education, AdvanceED and the High School Advisory Board for Evans Newton Incorporated. A Colorado native, Monica earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the School of Education at New York University. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Social Work from Baylor University.

YouTube Video Links

Click on a thumbnail below to watch the interviews conducted by Loretta Goodwin








Tony Wagner Interview – “What Can We Learn from Finland’s Education Reform?”










Monica Martinez Interview – “How New Tech Differs from Traditional Public High Schools and What That Means for its Teachers”







The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.