George Lucas Educational Foundation

Bob Lenz

Executive Director, Buck Institute for Education, Novato, CA

Bob Lenz, Executive Director of the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), the world leader in Project Based Learning professional development and district implementation of PBL, previously co-founded Envision Education and served as the CEO and Chief of Innovation until 2015. Under Bob’s leadership, Envision Education put in practice a highly successful redesign model that has opened a path to college and college retention for underserved urban students at Envision’s three Bay Area arts and technology high schools.

Bob also launched Envision Learning Partners. Envision Learning Partners fulfills the original promise of charter schools to serve as demonstration sites for innovative educational practices to transform the broader public school system. Envision Learning Partners is working with schools, districts and networks of schools across the country as they adopt the Envision Schools College and Career Ready Student Performance Assessment System.

He is recognized nationally as a leader in high school redesign, project-based learning, 21st Century Skills education and performance assessment. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have recognized Bob as a Senior Deeper Learning Fellow and recently he published Transforming Schools: Using Project-based Learning, Performance Assessment and the Common Core Standards with Jossey-Bass Wiley.

Previously, Bob founded Academy X, an award-winning leadership and humanities program at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, California. In 1999, Drake High was named one of thirteen New American High Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley. In 2000, the school was featured on the cover of U.S. News & World Report as an example of successful high school reform.

Bob was the first in his family to receive a four year college degree, obtaining a BA degree from St. Mary’s College and an MA degree in education from San Francisco State University. When he is not spending time with his family San Rafael, CA, he is stand-up paddling, riding his bike and playing rugby.

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  • Student Engagement

    Classroom Connections: Arts Integration Up Close

    Bob Lenz profiles how a California elementary school used music, dance, and visual arts to connect the content-learning in all its classrooms.
  • Assessment

    Failure Is Essential to Learning

    To help these kids make the kinds of gains they need to master the Common Core, students must learn to receive feedback and also how to use it to improve.
  • Student Engagement

    Powerful Classroom Lessons: It All Begins With the Hook

    The lure or hook when introducing new learning to students matters more than we think.
  • Growth Mindset

    Watch What's Working: Carol Dweck Talks Growth Mindset

    Watch Carol Dweck, Stanford University's growth mindset guru and researcher, talk about the winning combination of having high expectations of students and providing effective support.
  • Teacher Leadership

    The Journey Continues: An Inspirational Message

    A letter on opening day to the staff of Envision Schools.
  • Teacher Leadership

    A Community of Learners: Building a Supportive Learning Environment

    Creating a safe, respectful school is a foundation for high-performance learning.
  • Assessment

    How Assessment Can Lead to Deeper Learning

    Edutopia Bob Lenz explains the importance of engaging students directly in assessing their own progress.
  • Performance Assessment

    A New Era for Student Assessment

    Standardized assessments, even when they include open-ended questions and are performance-based, only give us part of the picture of a student's readiness for college and career success.
  • Blended Learning

    From the Classroom: What Does Blended Learning Look Like?

    Blogger Bob Lenz highlights one of his college students who uses blended learning in the special education class she teaches.
  • Student Engagement

    A Case for Student-Centered Learning

    Edutopia blogger Bob Lenz shares Stanford findings that show deeper learning strategies and student-centered practices increase academic achievement.
  • Assessment

    The Four R's: Rigor in Twenty-First-Century Schools

    Envision Schools embraces four principles for preparing students for success in college and careers, including rigor.
  • Common Core

    How the Common Core Supports Deeper Learning

    The change that the Common Core demands from us is considerable, but it's not radical.
  • Project-Based Learning

    Resources for Designing a Political Ad Campaign Project

    Blogger Bob Lenz shares valuable resources for helping teachers develop project-based-learning for the upcoming political elections.
  • Teacher Leadership

    Deeper Learning Blog Carnival: Six Questions for Better Professional Development

    Effective PD is much like effective teaching. There should be an emphasis on collaboration and listening.
  • Teacher Leadership

    Education Speak: Defining Innovation

    Bob Lenz, founder of several successful charters in California, proposes that innovation in education includes challenging the ways schools currently operate -- and a commitment to doing things differently.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation