Designing for All Students: A Policy Framework for the Next Era of Personalized Learning

Topics: Education Policy

It’s been four years since KnowledgeWorks released its first state policy framework with the goal of helping states and districts pilot personalized learning opportunities for students. During this time, we helped champion and elevate the incredible momentum building for this new approach. Now, we celebrate pilot and innovation programs in more than two-thirds of states with an impressive 39 states embedding personalized learning strategies into their state plans for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While this momentum is remarkable, the hard work lies ahead as states ask the question, “What do we do next?”

The State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning will help states and stakeholders define and navigate their pathway from the exploratory phase of system design, where a limited number of districts engage in personalized learning practices, to statewide transformation.

KnowledgeWorks hopes to help answer that question with release of our new State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning: Designing Education Systems Where Every Student Succeeds. The goal of this framework is to help stakeholders consider what it will take to fully align policy systems to support a statewide shift toward personalized learning. We do not offer a linear approach, but instead elevate goals and critical policy opportunities that states should consider as they evolve their systems from exploration, to replication and ultimately to statewide transformation of personalized learning. Our hope is to help state leaders and their stakeholders prioritize critical action steps and design a system where all students benefit from high quality personalized learning experiences.

Here’s what you will find in our new framework:

  • Four Commitments for Quality Transformation – States must develop a robust theory of change that will ensure quality across the system. Our four core commitments will help states achieve quality implementation. They are: Alignment, Shared Ownership, Equity and Transformative School Models.
  • 12 Policy Conditions – Our comprehensive set of policy conditions outline goals and policy opportunities for states to consider as their system advances from exploration, to replication, to statewide transformation. These conditions are divided across four strategies for system redesign: Building Capacity, Ensuring Quality, Empowering Student Learning and Cultivating Systems Change.
  • Early Adopters – Each policy condition features a promising state policy to help state leaders make connections to great work happening around the country.

We are excited to share this resource with state leaders, partners and educators across the country who are considering what it will take to design a student-centered policy system where every student has the opportunity and support to succeed. KnowledgeWorks stands ready to be a thought partner in this challenging but necessary work.