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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 Innovation zones or districts of innovation help state policy leaders identify outdated policies and regulations that may get in the way of educators designing innovative learning models.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…


Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning Special Webinar

December 2015. Keeping Pace has been tracking trends in online and blended learning policy and practice for 12 years. In this webinar, John Watson with the Evergreen Education Group and Maria Worthen, iNACOL Vice President for Federal and State Policy, presented the latest findings published in the 2015 report related to online schools, supplemental online programs, district activity,…


The Every Student Succeeds Act—How Will the New Federal K-12 Education Law Support Personalized Learning?

December 2015. On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, Congress passed a bill that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The education law, called The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) would replace No Child Left Behind and holds significant implications for the field of K-12 education. The bill gives states flexibility to redesign assessments for student-centered learning, to…

Author: Aisha Woodward, Maria Worthen

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Webinar

Topics: Policy


Course Access: Providing Equitable Access to High-Quality Learning Opportunities

November 2015. Course Access provides public school students with expanded course offerings across learning environments from diverse, accountable providers. It is a statewide program through which students can gain equitable access to a variety of courses in a programmatic effort to increase access, quality and equity in public education. School counselors work with students to identify courses that are academically appropriate…


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


The iNACOL Federal Policy Frameworks 2015

November 2015. The iNACOL Federal Policy Frameworks 2015 provides specific policy recommendations to close persistent learning gaps, improve equity and dramatically increase student achievement. This policy brief provides concrete, actionable recommendations on eight key issues: Redesign assessment around student-centered learning. Rethink accountability for continuous improvement of next generation learning models. Modernize educator and leadership development. Make personalized learning…

Author: Maria Worthen

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Report

Topics: Policy


Federal and State Policy Developments: Opening Opportunities for New Learning Models

May 2015. On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm ET, iNACOL hosted a Leadership Webinar focused on federal and state policy updates, including reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), current U.S. Department of Education Initiatives to support personalized learning, and state course access and innovation zone policies. Maria Worthen highlighted iNACOL’s federal…


An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards from Abroad

October 2014. An International Study in Competency Education: Postcards from Abroad seeks to highlight components of competency education in international practice, to inform US policymakers and decision makers seeking to implement high-quality competency pathways at the state or local level. Other countries are studying our innovations, and we are studying theirs. This report first reviews the definition…


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

October 2014. 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 next few years hold great potential to continue the incredible progress we have achieved—with new learning models…

Author: Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick

Organization: iNACOL

Type: Report

Topics: Policy


Course Access: Equitable Opportunities for College and Career Ready Students

October 2014. Imagine a high school student who does not have the opportunity to take all of the courses she needs to get into college. Today, for far too many young people, this is a sobering reality. Public schools around the country may lack the resources, staff, or demand to offer a full catalog of courses. According…

Author: Maria Worthen, Susan Patrick

Organization: iNACOL