Six Areas Where Policy Is Advancing Student-Centered Learning

Working together to stay on top of education policy trends

July 28, 2022

“While we have seen historically high graduation rates these past few years, too many students aren’t graduating ready for what comes next,” said Jon Alfuth, director of state policy for KnowledgeWorks, in a recently recorded conversation.

“College remediation rates continue to be high,” Alfuth continued, “and employers continue to report that too many students aren’t proficient in the competencies that they need to be successful in the world of work.” We need to do better at preparing our children and our systems for the future. State policy changes can help the education systems transform into ones that are flexible and future-ready.

While Education Commission of the States (ECS) has been tracking broader state education policy trends, there wasn’t a group focused specifically on tracking student-centered policy changes. So KnowledgeWorks created a tracking system to do just that. We hope this database can help the field identify the progress being made at the state level in implementing student-centered learning policies and practices. We also hope that it will help the field more effectively identify and spread the newest best practices being implemented by states.

ECS Policy Analyst Ben Erwin joined KnowledgeWorks Senior Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Research Emily Brixey to cross-reference their respective education policy trackers to examine policy trends around student-centered learning measured against KnowledgeWorks state policy framework. Brixey said, “We looked at bill tags across both of our organizations and identified these six areas that saw especially high levels of legislative action this past session.”

  • Assessments of mastery
  • Funding
  • Learning pathways
  • Equity
  • Flexibility and innovation
  • Other bills of interest

Cross-referencing the two databases, which have different focuses, allows KnowledgeWorks and ECS to see things from different angles or something missed the first time around. “We’ve gotten to do a lot of cross-checking on bill tracking,” said Erwin. “And I think both of our organizations were able to flag bills for each other that we might have otherwise missed. Since we use different search strings and also have different state partners that help us stay up to date on amendments and carry-over bills, it was helpful to compare notes.”

Watch the panel below to learn how states are passing student-centered education policies from the six areas of interest.

2022 Legislative Update: Personalized, Competency-Based Learning Policy Trends

Read the policy brief “State Policies to Support Student-Centered Learning” at ECS.


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