The Stories You Loved in 2021

Topics: Overcoming Challenges

When 2020 presented obstacles and difficulties, many education leaders, educators, caretakers and children sought to make more future-ready changes. Then in 2021, many schools returned to in-person classes, and school didn’t just look different – it had to be different – from the individual experience all the way to the national experience. Everyone was looking to make education more sustainable and flexible. So here are the top 10 resources from 2021 that you found valuable in your efforts.


We made a board game! IMPACT: Learning Edition invites players to bring their own lived experiences and hopes for the future to the (game) table, allowing for replayability through the conversations that surface and the different card combinations.


What do we need to ask ourselves when we are forced to confront tensions that arise from systemic issues? Explore the issues.

Header for brief, reading "Evidence of Learning: How States are Rethinking Instructional Time and Attendance Policies in the COVID-19 Era"

COVID-19 allowed states to review existing policies, giving flexibility to think differently about seat time and redefining seat time all together. Learn how 10 states enacted policy changes to account for flexibilities around seat time.

Finding Your Path: A Navigation Tool for Scaling Personalized, Competency-Based Learning

Finding Your Path: A Navigation Tool for Scaling Personalized, Competency-Based Learning is designed to help learning communities understand the conditions for sustainable systems change and to develop and advance a strategic plan for district-wide transformation to personalized, competency-based learning.

Megan Margerum's Mindset Monday learner profile wall

For graduates of Northern Cass school district in Fargo, North Dakota, having a learner’s mindset is a critical component of readiness upon graduation. And within the past year, weathering the challenges of distance learning and the pandemic, it’s been even more important. Learn how a mindset shift is helping students build problem-solving and risk-taking skills – even in the middle of a pandemic.

A female teacher sits at a desk helping primary-level students

Learn how a fresh approach to standards in one district is supporting students to reach mastery no matter where they begin their learning journeys.

empowered fists of varying skin tones in the air with hearts in the air symbolizing love

Explore the ways in which youth use systems thinking tools to see the big picture and address community problems.

cover to table in Personalized, Competency-Based Learning Can and Should Replace Tracking – Here’s Why

Learn why tracking is problematic and what we can do about it.

with long curly hair student in overalls and long-sleeve shirt and medical mask writing on a testing booklet at a desk with other students in the background

COVID-19 provided states the opportunity to accelerate their progress in rethinking state assessment systems to ensure they support the individual learning of all students. Learn more about how 14 states are continuing to make progress in rethinking system accountability and K-12 assessment systems.

The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized Learning According to Teachers explores what drives educators to build personalized learning environments in the classroom.

Rhonda Rose is using priority standards and learning pathways to ensure each of her students gets what they need to succeed.

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