Ned Kirsch, Using the Right Data + Evidence-Based Proficiency

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.



Ned Kirsch, Superintendent of Schools of Franklin West Supervisory Union, joins us to discusses interdisciplinary educational models and teacher-driven professional development structures. Ned also discusses how FWSU is able to drive forward thinking within the district by learning from other school systems that are members of the League of Innovative Schools. Listen in as Ned also talks about how to show student proficiency through evidence, as well as the importance of finding and applying data that attests to which students are completing college and what factors are helping them do so.






About Ned Kirsch


Ned Kirsch is the Superintendent of Schools of Franklin West Supervisory Union serving the towns for Georgia, Fairfax and Fletcher. Prior to assuming this position he was the Principal of the Essex Middle School where he was named Vermont Middle School Principal of the Year. Ned has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the national Middle Level Task Force, the Vermont Middle Level Study Group and the Vermont Superintendents Association’s Quality Education Committee. He is a Trustee of the Vermont Superintendents Association, serves on the board for the Vermont Center for International Partnerships, served on the Board of Directors for the Snelling Center for Leadership, is the past-President of the Vermont ASCD. Ned is also the developer and moderator of #vted chat.


He holds degrees from the University of Maine (BA), Vermont Law School (JD & MSEL) and the University of Vermont (CAS). He is also a graduate of the Harvard Principals Center and the Snelling Center for School Leadership. Ned lives in Vermont with his wife and two children and golden retriever Addison.



About Franklin West Supervisory Union

  • Franklin West Supervisory Union, located in northwestern Vermont, serves the communities of Fairfax, Fletcher, and Georgia. There are approximately 1680 students in FWSU and approximately 250 more who attend high schools throughout Vermont via school choice.

  • FWSU is passionate about sharing its story every day on its blog: The FWSU Story. Community members follow FWSU’s educational journey and enjoy a close-up look at what is happening in the classroom and beyond.

  • FWSU is one of 83 districts nationwide to be a member of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools connects and rallies the most forward-thinking leaders of the nation’s school districts. By working together on shared priorities — and partnering with leading entrepreneurs, researchers, and education leaders — League districts pioneer innovative learning and leadership practices that lead to improved outcomes for students and that help prepare them for learning for life. Digital Promise works at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, and entrepreneurs and developers to improve learning with the power of technology.

  • FWSU has been named an Apple Distinguished Program twice in the past 5 years. The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments. FWSU is the only school in Vermont with this designation.

  • FWSU has been named a school of distinction by IVECA (International Virtual Education). IVECA Center for International Virtual Schooling pursues to implement the intercultural education program IVECA into all levels of schools across the world. Last year students from FWSU spent 6 week sessions Franklin West Supervisory Union communicating with partner schools in 8 countries. The Center also conducts research and strives to provide the necessary educational support system in collaboration with other universities, the United Nations, UNESCO, international NGOs and business groups.

  • Last year FWSU launched Innovation Labs in all of its schools. Innovation Labs offer students a more intense focus on design thinking and innovation enlarges our capacity to integrate sets of skills such as coding, research, fabrication, making and gaming to solve the authentic problems our world is now facing.

  • Learn more about FWSU by visiting its website. FWSU also invites you to follow it on Facebook and on Twitter (@FWSU). You can also interact on Twitter with Ned Kirsch (@betavt) and Linda Keating, Director of Curriculum and Instruction (@educate4ward) on Twitter.


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