41 Resources Available


Meeting The Every Student Succeeds Act’s Promise: State Policy to Support Personalized Learning

October 2016. Under the new federal K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have a historic opportunity to transform K-12 education toward personalized, student-centered learning. This law represents a marked shift in federal control to states, presenting state and local stakeholders with important opportunities and flexibilities to redefine student success and the goals of…


Promising State Policies to Advance Personalized Learning

September 2016. iNACOL published the report Promising State Policies for Personalized Learning to highlight specific state examples of promising policies to support and scale personalized, competency-based learning to close equity and achievement gaps. This executive summary outlines the policies in that report. What Is the Promise of Personalized Learning? Personalized learning can: Dramatically increase equity in education; Facilitate data-rich, powerful…


A Reflection on the Field of K-12 Competency-Based Education and Emerging Issues

September 2016. States, districts and schools across the United States are realizing the shortcomings of the traditional seat-time based K-12 system and demanding more for their students. As a result, many leaders and practitioners are making the shift to competency-based education and designing new, personalized learning opportunities to better prepare students for college and 21st-century careers. As…

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Promising State Policies for Personalized Learning

May 2016. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), ushered in a historic opportunity to rethink K-12 education across the country.3 The new law allows localities to create systems of assessments that meet students where they are in their learning by…


What Is Competency-Based Education?

April 2016. Competency education, an educator-led reform, is taking root in schools and districts across the country. The concept behind competency education is simple: learning is best measured by students demonstrating mastery of learning targets, rather than the number of hours spent in a classroom. By redesigning the education system around actual student learning, we will effectively…


Next Steps Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

April 2016. The new K-12 federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), gives states increased flexibility over assessment, accountability and use of funding. This represents a marked shift in federal control to states, presenting state and local stakeholders with an important opportunity to redefine what student success looks like and the goals of our nation’s…

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Innovation Zones: Creating Policy Flexibility for Personalized Learning

March 2016. This policy issue brief describes what innovation zones are, why they are important and examples of legislative language from various states. Innovation zones or districts of innovation help state policy leaders identify outdated policies and regulations that may get in the way of educators designing innovative learning models. They create space for districts and schools to…


A Conversation with the 2015 iNACOL National Blended & Online Learning Teacher of the Year

December 2015. Paula Barr, a second grade teacher with Quail Run School, Lawrence Public Schools (KS) was recently honored as the 2015 Blended & Online Teacher of the Year at the iNACOL Blended & Online Learning Symposium, held in Orlando, Florida. In this webinar, Paula shared her perspective on how blended and online teaching improves student engagement,…


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

November 2015. This policy brief highlights opportunities for states to close achievement gaps and enable highly personalized pathways, and provides concrete, actionable recommendations for state policymakers around five key issues: Create Competency-Based Education Systems Improve Student Access and Equity Ensure Quality with Standards and Performance Metrics Modernize Educator and Leader Development Build New Learning Models Infrastructure This…

Author: Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Report

Topics: Policy


Using Online Learning for Credit Recovery: Getting Back on Track to Graduation

September 2015. This research paper illustrates how schools and programs are using online learning to provide credit recovery for students with a wide spectrum of academic needs. The report investigates credit recovery and its impact on today’s students, state and district approaches to providing credit recovery, as well as case studies of exemplar programs and lessons learned.…