In our recently release State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning, we identify four core commitments that state leaders should be mindful of for quality transformation to personalized learning. They should strive for increasing evidence of each commitment as they work to mature their policy systems.
These core commitments came about as we went through the process of identifying the 12 policy conditions states need to tackle as they refine and transform their policy system to one that ensures all students in the state benefit from high-quality personalized learning experiences. As we examined these and identified the components involved in each, we also identified cross-cutting themes. These themes evolved into our four core commitments. The core commitments are the values that shape our work and make our approach unique, and they are evident in all 12 of our policy conditions.
To really achieve full statewide transformation, personalized learning can’t just inform some parts of the system or happen in siloes. The entire system should be thoughtfully aligned so that each student has an opportunity to access a fully personalized experience.
We don’t believe that equitable outcomes are a natural byproduct of a personalized system. In reality, states, districts and schools need to engage in intentional work to ensure that each student has an opportunity for success, to close gaps in outcomes and to identify and eliminate systemic biases at all levels of the system.
Transformative Schools Models
The difference between personalized learning operating in dispersed pilots and full statewide transformation is that districts and schools are empowered to build models that fit the needs of students in a personalized context. These models are based on evidence from pilot programs, can fully meet students’ needs and are able to adjust course when necessary.
Stakeholder engagement is foundational for any education initiative’s success, and in our framework, we believe that stakeholders should be integral in all phases of personalized learning implementation. They should be consulted during vision formation and empowered to participate in continuous improvement processes.
We believe that statewide transformation to personalized learning requires ongoing efforts to reach an advanced stage of implementation in all 12 policy conditions. For statewide transformation to be sustainable and meet the needs of students and communities, states also need to exhibit a consistent and always-deepening commitment to alignment, equity, transformative school models and shared ownership. These core commitments allow states to access the full promise and potential of personalized learning.