Collaborative Leadership

State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning

State leaders demonstrate support for personalized learning and partner with diverse stakeholders across all levels of the system to mobilize broad support for the creation and sustainability of personalized learning. Meaningful, transparent and ongoing engagement between state, district and community partners improves the quality of policy development, adoption, implementation and continuous improvement while cultivating champions across the system to advance personalized learning approaches that meet the needs of all students.


The Goal: State leaders have demonstrated support for personalized learning and have established partnerships with diverse stakeholders to identify barriers and strategies to advance personalized teaching and learning models.

Support Actions:

  • The state engages diverse stakeholders in the exploration of personalized learning policies, communicating proactively and clearly with culturally responsive education materials and multiple formats, platforms and venues.
  • Policymakers, administrators, teacher unions, community-based organizations and other advocacy groups express support for personalized learning by backing policies or plans to advance high-quality personalized learning and by participating in inter-state learning opportunities.
Strategic Question: Which stakeholder groups should serve as partners in this work? Which groups and individuals are already paving the way for personalized learning in the state?


The Goal: State leaders have demonstrated deep commitment to personalized learning while building the capacity of districts to collaborate with diverse stakeholders across their communities to implement personalized teaching and learning models.

Supporting Actions: 

  • The state demonstrates commitment to personalized learning by designating an entity, coalition or council focused on advancing personalized learning that works closely with stakeholders to advance personalized learning policy and to enhance communication and responsiveness to feedback for historically underserved groups.
  • The state supports school districts by providing technical assistance, training, tools and financial support to encourage collaborative development and implementation of policies and programs aligned to personalized learning and facilitates networks of district leaders to share best practices and build capacity for personalized learning models.
Strategic Question: How can the state help districts and their communities leverage current policy opportunities to advance personalized learning? How can districts and their communities help the state improve policies to support ongoing district implementation?

Statewide Transformation

The Goal: State leaders have aligned their priorities and policies to support the advancement of personalized learning while empowering districts to engage deeply with diverse community partners in the ongoing implementation and improvement of personalized learning systems.

Supporting Actions:

  • The state demonstrates commitment to and builds local capacity and ownership for personalized learning by supporting the establishment or expansion of cross-sector community partnerships, helping advance the vision by aligning resources to support impactful education practices.
  • Education leaders and diverse stakeholders participate in processes that ensure continuous improvement of the education system and hold each other accountable to maintain momentum toward achieving the state’s vision for student success.
Strategic Question: How will the state ensure ongoing commitment to its vision for personalized learning through leadership changes at the state and district levels?

Read About an Early Adopter

In 2017, North Dakota created an innovative education program, allowing schools and districts to apply for a waiver from specific state laws. SB 2186 passed with bipartisan support and emerged in part because the state superintendent engaged a variety of stakeholders, including administrators, educators, the governor, the state teacher’s union and the state chamber of commerce. More recently, the state’s Department of Public Instruction began a partnership with school districts and organizations to establish a statewide personalized, competency-based learning initiative. District teams represent five school districts across the state to lead local implementation of personalized, competency-based learning. Additionally, the Superintendent’s Student Cabinet is designed for students to provide feedback to the state on education issues.

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Twelve policy conditions are necessary for a successful statewide transformation to personalized learning.