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Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act

Mapping Emerging Trends for Personalized Learning in State ESSA Plans

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Topics: Education Policy, ESSA

Over the past decade, a shift toward personalization has begun to take hold in classrooms and learning communities across the country. Advocates have embraced this movement with the belief that it will close achievement gaps, increase student engagement and address the disconnect between K-12, postsecondary education and the workforce.

While the depth of practice varies significantly across regions, states, and communities, the level of commitment to personalized learning is on the rise as an increasing number of stakeholders begin to advocate for policies that enable the expansion of personalized learning systems. The recent reauthorization and early-stage implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provide evidence of this transformation. Federal policymakers gave states significant flexibility to advance innovative, next generation education systems, and in turn, most states leveraged these possibilities in one way or another to develop a foundation for personalized models and strategies.

The possibilities in ESSA to advance personalized learning span the law, giving states an opportunity to design an education system that provides all students with the supports they need to graduate college and career ready.

Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act: Mapping Emerging Trends for Personalized Learning in State ESSA Plans elevates trends that emerged during a year-long review of state ESSA plans and drafts. 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.

Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act: Mapping Emerging Trends for Personalized Learning in State ESSA Plans© will help:

  • Educate state policymakers about personalized learning policy trends and connect them to states that are advancing these policies.
  • Educate national policymakers, education advocates, philanthropic partners, and business and community stakeholders about the growth of personalized learning policies nationally.
  • Inspire a conversation that helps states strengthen and amend their ESSA plans to improve implementation of personalized learning systems.
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