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How one school district looks beyond standardized tests toward real world “flexible learning”

scot graden in front of michigan radio sign
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Scot Graden is superintendent of Saline Area Schools.

We wanted to hear from a school district that is working to find new and innovative ways to educate students.

For the past four years, the Saline Area Schools have been ramping up toward a program that worries more about producing students who can think, reason, and communicate than producing students who simply do well on standardized tests.

Scot Graden is the superintendent of Saline Area Schools.

Graden has worked to create new physical learning environments for his students.

“You wouldn’t find many desks, you wouldn’t see students in rows,” Graden said. “The environment we’ve tried to create in those classrooms is one for flexible learning.”

The school district’s ideas mark a step away from the standardized testing-focused curriculum in many schools around the state.

Making better students “is our ultimate goal,” Graden said. “Our ultimate goal is not to create great test takers. And so I think we’ve started to begin with the end in mind. So we think about what are the skills that our students need to be successful as they leave us.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Scot Graden, Saline Area Schools superintendent, above.

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