The iNACOL State Policy Frameworks 2015: 5 Critical Issues to Transform K-12 Education


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Over the last decade, the American education system has seen unprecedented transformation of teaching and learning as educators have grasped the power of new learning models to close achievement gaps and extend access to high-quality learning opportunities. The availability of adaptive digital tools that use data to improve student learning has exploded as technology and innovation advance. The next few years hold great potential to continue the incredible progress we have achieved—with new learning models that allow personalization of instruction for each student and a shift towards competency education that will ensure teaching and learning are built on a foundation of true mastery. However, this shift cannot be sustained without changes in state policy.

This policy brief provides concrete, actionable recommendations for state policymakers. There are five key issues in the iNACOL State Policy Frameworks:

  1. Create Competency-Based Education Systems
  2. Improve Student Access and Equity
  3. Ensure Quality with Standards and Performance Metrics
  4. Modernize Educator and Leader Development
  5. Build New Learning Models Infrastructure

We provide background and specific policy recommendations for each of these issues in this policy brief.  Taken as a whole, the recommendations that follow present a framework for sustainable, systemic change. However, we present them with the understanding that each state starts from a different place, with its own unique context in its education system and its policy landscape.



Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick



Date Published

November 2015