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Description: Delivering on the Promise is the story of one school district¿s journey to develop and implement the RISC (Re-Inventing Schools Coalition) Approach to Schooling¿a system that represents a dramatic shift for American education, a literal reinvention of what schooling looks like. In 2001, the members of the district won the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for their efforts in developing and implementing the program. The RISC Approach to Schooling is a standards-based approach to education designed to educate all students to the highest levels, empower them to own and lead the learning process, help them realize their dreams, and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Motivation, engagement, and shared leadership¿and clarity that every child can learn¿are foundational pillars of RISC¿s whole-child model. The RISC Approach to Schooling requires much more of students than the traditional approach to K¿12 education¿both in terms of students¿ academic performance and their ownership of the learning process¿but this approach makes much more possible for students as well. Very low-level, just-get-by achievement is no longer sufficient for advancement. Proficiency is the new bar for every student. There is a shared commitment to ensure that every student has a solid understanding, a facility with skills, and the ability to interact effectively with real-world situations in every content area. In addition, students no longer simply wait for teachers to tell them what to do next. Instead, students, even very young ones, are empowered to partner with their teachers, lead, and participate in their own educational experience. At the same time, students are provided with the teaching, coaching, support, and individualized learning experiences they need to succeed. The most fundamental difference between a traditional education system and a RISC system is that in a traditional system, time is the constant and learning is the variable. In a RISC system, the reverse is true: Learning is the constant and time is the variable. In a traditional system, students spend 13 years in school, kindergarten through grade 12, as they earn a certain amount of seat time each year by receiving a minimum grade, as low as a D¿, in each required course. Whether they learn and to what extent they learn, however, varies greatly¿from class to class, teacher to teacher, and school to school. Conversely, in a school or district implementing the RISC approach, students move at their own pace (as fast or as slow as needed) through developmental levels in standards, rather than age-based grade levels. In a RISC system, students also must meet an acceptable level of performance, but the bar is set higher. To move ahead to the next level in any standards area, a student must demonstrate proficient or better performance on end-of-level assessments¿the equivalent of a traditional B letter grade or higher. Delivering on the Promise describes the RISC Approach to Schooling within the context of the inspirational story of the Chugach School District, the students and professionals within it, and the community it serves. The award-winning approach has proven success. The authors describe how the approach can be effective in a variety of school environments¿rural, urban, large, small, and so on.