Over the next few weeks, our Innovation policy team will answer the questions they’ve been receiving. We invite you to send in your questions or Tweet us at @ExcelinEd, and share this important information with education partners, stakeholders and others who would like to know more. Personalized learning tailors a student’s educational experience to meet their […]
Learner-centered education requires broad access to high-quality coursework, yet too many schools and districts are unable to offer critical courses necessary for college and career readiness. ExcelinEd’s Course Access policy seeks to address these gaps through legislation, incentives and guidance allowing students to access an online marketplace of high-quality courses.
Personalized learning presents a vital opportunity to provide rigorous, high-quality instruction while addressing students’ diverse educational experiences and pursuing their unique strengths, interests, and needs. Coupled with flexibility in pace and delivery, personalized learning is grounded in the idea of students progressing when they demonstrate mastery of skills and knowledge, regardless of the time, place, or pace at which such mastery occurs. For some students, it means removing artificial barriers to their engagement with more advanced work. For many others, it means providing tailored support as well as the time and opportunity to close learning gaps rather than leaving them behind year after year.
How do ExcelinEd’s Innovation policies support learner-centered education? ExcelinEd’s Innovation policy set focuses on three core areas that promote learner-centered approaches to education. Each policy set is distinct, yet all are focused on expanding families’ opportunities to select the courses and learning pathways that are best for their students.
From the day of diagnosis, parents of students with disabilities begin the long journey of paving paths through a world designed for the mythical “average” person. In education, we grow accustomed to challenging traditional systems to serve our children so they too can reach their full potential. But the daily struggle is made more difficult because of a significant problem baked into the basic design of traditional education: these systems are set up to serve the “average learner,” who doesn’t exist.
One of the first questions schools face when they begin transitioning to personalized learning is: “What kind of support will the school leaders and educators need to make this transition successful? Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered Personalized Education helps answer this question.
When ESSA was first passed, there was intense interest in the SQ/SS indicator. Many education experts speculated on the measures states would include in their accountability systems. Meanwhile, some organizations dedicated to the implementation of rigorous accountability systems focused on student outcomes, like ExcelinEd, were concerned that states would use the SQ/SS indicator to water down or complicate their accountability systems. Fortunately, this has largely not been the case so far.
One of ESSA’s strengths is that it encourages states to include measures of student growth in their accountability systems. When states hold schools accountable for the academic improvement of each student, it creates a more balanced accountability system because it gives schools credit for improving student achievement, not just for advancing students to the “proficient” level. Recognizing growth provides schools incentive to improve the performance of all students—from those who start school the furthest behind and may not reach proficiency in the first few years to the higher performers who are already proficient and ready to move to advanced achievement.
As students go back to school this month, I think back three years ago when my husband and I were registering our oldest daughter, Arianna, for kindergarten. We faced the decision of enrolling her in the elementary school in our district—which was in the process of losing accreditation—or applying to the lottery for Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, a public charter school.
This #AskExcelinEd series features our analysis of the nuts and bolts of the first 17 ESSA plans (16 states, plus Washington, D.C.) submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Each week we will answer a different question about these plans to help the next 34 states learn from the strengths and weaknesses of the first round […]