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Video by The RSA

Our children are precious. Every single one, regardless of ethnic background, economic situation or cognitive condition, deserves an equal access to high quality learning opportunities—through a vibrant, flexible, standards-based public education.

With the shift from a manufacturing economy to a global knowledge economy, we need a system of education that will prepare students for a changing world that requires an evolving set of skills and knowledge – and an orientation towards self-directed, lifelong learning. In the 21st century, information is readily available. Rather than focus on the memorization of content knowledge, today’s education system must help learners develop the skills to access reliable information, the critical thinking and creativity to apply information in complex situations, and the collaboration and communication skills needed both for successful careers and active participation in their communities. In the knowledge economy, all students must be prepared for college, career, and citizenship with internationally competitive skills and knowledge.

In short, our public education must be transformed. Rather than focusing on cohorts of students, we now have the knowledge and tools to allow each individual to develop his or her unique potential. To do this in a systemic way, we cannot simply add new courses and programs to our schools. We have a vision for integrating the development of knowledge and skills through meaningful learning opportunities available in schools and in other settings. In this document, we propose a strategy to transform the education system to develop the human capital of each child in Connecticut. With effective leadership and the help of every citizen in Connecticut, CAPSS truly believes such transformation is possible. This report recommends exactly how we can help every student in our state be ready for life, work, and citizenship in the 21st century. 

One of the purposes of the NextEd: Next Steps document is to empower educators to design learning environments that look and feel different from most of today’s classrooms. Our other major purpose is to inform policy makers about the changes necessary to enable educators to transform the education system.

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