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New Report Indicates Ways Schools Can Adopt Personalized Learning Under ESSA

New Report Indicates Ways Schools Can Adopt Personalized Learning Under ESSA

A new report from KnowledgeWorks titled "Recommendations for Advancing Personalized Learning Under the Every Student Succeeds Act" makes recommendations on how schools can, under the new education legislation, design systems focused on personalized learning.

The report defines personalized learning using five indicators. According to KnowledgeWorks, personalized learning can be defined when:

  • Instruction is aligned to specific college-and-career ready standards
  • Instruction is customized to individual student interests
  • Instruction is varied based on individual student needs
  • Educators create instruction using data provided from formative assessments and student feedback
  • Learning objectives are made clear to both students and parents

Recent studies have indicated that this kind of clear and concise learning helps deeper learning happen and as a result increases graduation rates.

In fact, the latest study from the American Institute for Research found that schools that focus on deeper learner through personalized learning experience 8 percent higher graduation rates.

Says the KnowledgeWorks’ report:

"ESSA provides states with an important opportunity to develop new accountability systems that align to the state’s vision for college and career success. As states explore this opportunity, they should create accountability indices that incorporate practices for advancing personalized learning.”

Some of these best practices include creating personalized learning indicators, setting high proficiency standards, using measures of accountability across state and local systems, incentivizing deeper learning and continuously updating and improving the state accountability system.

The report also makes recommendations on how state assessments should reflect personalized learning under ESSA.

"Assessments should measure complex demonstrations of mastery, integrate multiple points of learning evidence, and provide an accurate picture of each student’s learning trajectory so school and community stakeholders can respond with customized supports and interventions,” the report says.

This means, according to the report, that assessments should be shorter and more frequent, should use computer adaptive assessments, should test students on social and emotional competency, and should focus on student interests when possible to promote deeper learning.

The report also makes recommendations on what kind of educator workforce would best support personalized learning (through pre-service preparation, educator evaluation, etc.) and how extended learning opportunities (ELOs) can be made possible through leveraging federal resources.

KnowledgeWorks says it "hopes states find this guidance useful as they consider the possibility of implementing a vision for personalized learning that aligns federal, state, and local policies to maximize success for all students.”

To request a copy of the report, see here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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