Personalized Learning and ESSA: An Important Signal of Education Innovation

Published:
Topics: Education Policy, ESSA

A new education policy paper from KnowledgeWorks includes a quantitative dashboard to provide readers a first glimpse at the prevalence of personalized learning strategies in state ESSA plans and deeper dives into general trends.ESSA and innovation has been in the news lately. We recently shared with you the latest installment in our series on personalized learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act: Mapping Emerging Trends for Personalized Learning in State ESSA Plans© represents the conclusion of a year-long process of reading every state’s ESSA plan (if you are keeping score at home that is every draft plan, submitted plan and approved plan…that’s a whole lotta ESSA) to identify state strategies for advancing personalized learning experiences for students. As you’ll remember we’ve been displaying that data on our website using an interactive map featuring the highlights from each state. Now, we are building on this work to help stakeholders identify national trends and better quantify the growing momentum around personalized learning.

This project includes three resources, each of which enables users to engage with the work at different levels.

The goal of Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act: Mapping Emerging Trends for Personalized Learning in State ESSA Plans is to elevate the trends that emerged during our review of state ESSA plans. While these plans only represent a part of the policy work happening across the country, they provide an important lens into the complexities of building and aligning personalized learning systems. We aim to tell that story in a way that is approachable for stakeholders across the country.

This publication opens with a quantitative dashboard to provide readers a first glimpse at the prevalence of personalized learning strategies in state ESSA plans. The core of the publication is then divided into five sections featuring policy trends that span the following issue areas:

  • State Vision
  • Accountability Systems
  • School Support and Improvement
  • Supporting Excellent Educators
  • Supporting All Students

The final section of the paper reveals a set of key values that appeared consistently across ESSA plans as justification for why states favored personalized strategies for teaching and learning. Collectively, these sections will provide readers with a sound understanding of a variety of issues driving state conversations about personalized education for student success.

While ESSA is not the only marker of innovation, it is an important signal. We hope the information in this report contributes to the growing conversation about how to build quality personalized systems that result in success for each and every student.

KnowledgeWorks created an infographic dashboard of fast facts about ESSA and personalized learning, wrote a paper with deeper analysis and shared a state-by-state analysis of ESSA state plans.