21st century learning should be fundamentally different than it is today. Despite years of investment and incremental reform, our education system lacks the personalization and relevancy to prepare every learner for the careers of tomorrow. The results of this failing system are all too clear: glaring achievement gaps, record high school dropout rates, declining international rankings, and extensive demand for postsecondary remediation.
States are in dire need of comprehensive education reform that embraces a new way of thinking – a shift from a world of schooling to a world of learning. In an era increasingly motivated by innovation and international competition, our success depends on our ability to embrace this type of educational transformation. While the emergence of new technologies, school models, and anytime, anywhere learning, have begun to define learning environments of the future, state policymakers must establish the policy conditions to help these innovations thrive.