Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Praise for CanDo Pilot Training

To review, CanDo is a competency tracking application based on SchoolTool. Development has been driven by teachers from the Arlington Career Center and most development has been done by local high school students and recent alumni in collaboration with SchoolTool's development team. Arlington Public Schools, the Virginia Department of Education and Mark Shuttleworth have funded the project thus far, and because CanDo is open source, it can be adapted and used throughout the Commonwealth, country and world without additional licensing fees.

Anyhow, here's a nice letter on a recent training session which kicked off a statewide pilot of CanDo:

Dr. Robert G. Smith, Superintendent
Arlington County Public Schools

Dear Dr. Smith:

Thank you for your support of the partnership between Arlington's CanDo Project, developed and implemented in the Arlington Technical Education and Career Center, and the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education. The partnership opens many exciting possibilities for other school divisions to track career and technical competency attainment, to prepare individual plans of studies for students, and to facilitate the integration of rigorous and relevant academic and technical instruction.

Last Thursday and Friday, the statewide pilot of the CanDo system began. Most important was the training of lead teachers in eight pilot sites representing each of the superintendent's regions. David Welsh led that training with assistance from Dr. Gerald Caputo. We witnessed some of the best training available in education. Instead of just technical training on the use of the CanDo system, David and Jerry offered excellent tenets of assessment and relevant instruction. Further, they modeled the concepts and techniques they promoted. The result was a very meaningful, entertaining training session. All participants left the session confident in their ability to implement the CanDo system in their locality and also with a better understanding of competency-based instruction.

The preparation beforehand, the training, and the offer of assistance after the training have all exceeded expectations. We are very, very pleased with the work of David Welsh, and we gratefully recognize your support and that of Dr. Johnson, Kris Martini, and Dr. Gerald Caputo.

We look forward to a continued partnership with Arlington as we work to fully implement the CanDo system statewide. Your successful initiative in Arlington promises great benefits for all school divisions across the Commonwealth.


Elizabeth M. Russell, Director
Office of Career and Technical Education

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