Diane Tavenner founded the first Summit school in 2003, developing a personalized, project-based curriculum that puts students in charge of their own learning.

At the heart of the Summit curriculum is the idea of a personalized learning plan. Students are given the opportunity to develop their skills by engaging in real-world projects, rather than passively learning and memorizing in a classroom environment where they have to compete with their classmates for rankings or test scores.

This book is a blueprint for parents, teachers, and policy makers to reconsider the way the way we think about learning and education.

Favorite quotes from the book:

In all of our concern about what the role of government assistance should be, we forget that when an individual is self-sustaining and fulfilled, they don’t need a lot of assistance. We forget that when an individual is able to live a fulfilled life, it’s good for the entire community, for our entire society.

It’s difficult, if you’re generally happy with your life, to think, “What if my education had been better?” Would that have been a bad thing? If you got to where you are now faster, or with less boredom and busywork and more time for exploration, interests, and relationships, what else might you have been able to accomplish? Knowingly or not, it is our unwillingness to honestly engage with these questions that often blocks change.

“A culture will develop in the organization. The only question is, will it be the one you want?”

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.