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2019 State and Federal Policy Priorities

September 2018. This brief highlights recommendations for policymakers with guidance on strategies and action steps to drive the transformation of K-12 education systems to meet the needs of every student. Policymakers, at every level, need to ensure the nation’s education systems are fit for purpose, equity-driven, capable of preparing all students - rather than only a portion…


Innovation Zones: Creating Policy Flexibility for Competency-Based Personalized Learning (updated August 2018)

August 2018. This issue brief describes what innovation zones are, why they are important and highlights how the following seven states/localities have approached their innovation zones statutes and regulations: Arkansas Colorado Kentucky Minnesota Mississippi New York City North Dakota Innovation zones or districts of innovation help state policy leaders identify outdated policies and regulations that may get…


State Strategies to Develop Teacher Capacity for Personalized, Competency-Based Learning

February 2018. This issue brief shares state policy recommendations and action steps for policymakers who are supporting the redesign of educator workforce systems to enable educators to build the skills, competencies and knowledge needed to thrive in modern, student-centered learning environments.   By modernizing educator preparation and development systems, policymakers will support transformation at scale toward education…

Author: Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Issue Brief

Topics: Policy


Current to Future State: Issues and Action Steps for State Policy to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning

January 2018. This report provides a roadmap and action steps for state policymakers to catalyze transformational change in K-12 education toward a future vision for systems that ensure success for all students. In this report, iNACOL articulates a vision for the future of K-12 education and offers action steps for state policymakers. Its purpose is to inspire…


Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education

January 2018. This paper explores and reflects on the issues state policy needs to address in the long-term to support a transformation of K-12 education systems. Personalized learning and competency-based education systems, designed to ensure equity, hold promise to prepare all students for success in college, career and civic life. This report shares strategies for policy to…


Rethinking State Accountability to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning in K-12 Education

December 2017. This issue brief shares state policy recommendations and resources for policymakers who are ready to rethink state accountability systems to support student-centered learning.  With the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states gain considerably more authority and autonomy over the design of school accountability systems. This shift in responsibility creates the opportunity…


Redefining Student Success: Profile of a Graduate

November 2017. This policy issue brief provides recommendations for state policymakers to generate a shared vision for student success that prepares all students for college, career and civic life. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides states with an unprecedented opportunity to transform K-12 education systems with new flexibility. The new law makes it possible for state leaders…


Redesigning Systems of Assessments for Student-Centered Learning

November 2017. This issue brief explores opportunities for states under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to rethink systems of assessments, and provides recommendations for state policymakers who are ready to support student-centered teaching and learning. Assessment is essential for understanding what students have learned and for providing transparency and fairness when it comes to certifying mastery…

Type: Issue Brief

Topics: Policy


State Policy & K-12 Competency-Based Education

August 2017. This iNACOL Issue Brief provides an overview of competency-based education, and provides state policy recommendations and resources for policymakers who are ready to enable and support competency education. Competency-based education is a next generation learning model that focuses on all students achieving mastery, preparing them for success in college, careers and civic life. State leaders…


Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education (DRAFT June 2017)

June 2017. The purpose of this paper is to explore and reflect on the ideas that state policy needs to address in the long term to support a transformation to competency-based education systems designed to ensure equity so all students can be truly ready for success. We explore threshold concepts (“core concepts, that once understood, are needed…