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ExcelinEd Releases “The Path to Personalized Learning: The Next Chapter in the Tale of Three States”



Today, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) released “The Path to Personalized Learning: The Next Chapter in the Tale of Three States.” This comprehensive policy paper picks up where ExcelinEd’s 2016 paper, A Tale of Three States, left off following the different paths Florida, Idaho and Utah are taking to implement personalized learning pilot programs.

Districts and schools in each of these states have made considerable progress in implementing their pilots. This report examines how pilot participants are overcoming policy barriers, how they are engaging with parents and stakeholders, key lessons learned and next steps.

“Personalized learning is a student-centered approach designed to fully prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for college or career,” said Patricia Levesque, ExcelinEd CEO. “Florida, Idaho and Utah are among dozens of states across the country taking bold steps for their students and families to prepare them for a successful future. ExcelinEd is proud to be a partner on many of these efforts to provide the flexibility and support schools need to truly meet the needs of their students.”

State highlights from the report include:

  • The Florida Competency-Based Education Pilot Program is entering its second year of implementation. Four participating districts and ExcelinEd formed the Florida Pilot Network to provide access to resources, share best practices and inform other interested districts of this exciting work.
  • Utah recently announced the school districts and charters participating in their newly created Competency-Based Education Grants Program to develop best practices for the pilot implementation phase in the 2018-19 school year.
  • Idaho’s Mastery-Based Education pilot enters its first year of implementation this school year (2017-18), following the selection of 19 local “incubators.” Last year, the Idaho Department of Education provided the pilot program access to resources, professional development and funding to develop their individual mastery education programs.

The current K-12 system focuses on progressing students through courses and grades based on time and only passing grades, rather than true mastery of key content and skills. This emphasis on seat-time over mastery contributes to the disconnect between a national graduation rate of over 80 percent and only 25 percent of high school seniors testing proficient in math.

Personalized learning, however, tailors a student’s educational experience to meet their unique strengths, interests and needs, while empowering them to play a greater role in their learning. Mastery-based progression is a fundamental component of personalized learning and it ensures equity and rigor for all students.

For more information on the integral role of competency-based education in personalized learning, watch Building a Foundation for Personalized Learning and Engaging Students and Personalized Learning.