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Report Provides Policy Framework for States to Implement Personalized Learning

Using "insight and feedback from school districts, state education agencies, policymakers, and education organizations that are focused on scaling personalized learning across districts," KnowledgeWorks has developed a report that provides policy framework for states to guide scaling personalized framework for its school districts.

In order for states to create a student-centered and personalized learning environment, the report titled A State Policy Framework for Scaling Personalized Learning suggests that states must first have a comprehensive understanding of what personalized learning is.

The report defines "personalized learning" as:

1. Instruction that is aligned to rigorous career and college standards to best prepare students for the future that also include social and emotional skills.

2. Learning is customized and designed for each individual student based on personal learning needs

3. The pace of instruction is also customized for individual student needs so students can take the time he or she needs to master the skills.

4.In order to fully personalize instruction educators must use student data and feedback to design personalized instruction to ensure every student graduates on time with the desired skill-set.

5. Learning is transparent in the sense that both students are parents are clear on and aware of learning objectives.

In order to achieve these goals that define personalized learning, the report recommends a flexible policy that allows for districts to use five years to begin implementation, with one year spent in a rigorous and conditional planning process.

"Districts that receive conditional approval should use Year One for planning and development purposes. Once the planning process is complete, districts should submit their comprehensive plan for scaling personalized learning, including the areas in which districts are requesting flexibility, to the state for final approval," the report said.

The report outlines each year of the implementation. In year one, the district will pursue planning and development activities conducted by the district. In year two, the district will get their plan approved and begin implementation. In years three and four, the implementation will continue with evaluation criteria being monitored consistently. In the final year, an evaluation will result in the district creating a long-term sustainability plan.

The report also goes so far as to define areas of assurance, how the state can support implementation, and how the state can best evaluate the process.

"Most, if not all, education stakeholders agree that the key to preparing all learners for college and career is a personalized education that is tailored to meet the needs of every student. In order to scale personalized learning, states and districts must work together to overcome the barriers of a system that was designed for a time that has long since passed," the report said.

"Adopting KnowledgeWorks’ state policy framework will empower states to remove antiquated policy barriers so districts can ensure every student experiences meaningful personalized learning that enables him or her to thrive in college, career, and civic life."

Read the full report here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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