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Issue 42: April 2018

Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act - Mapping Emerging Trends for Personalized Learning in State ESSA Plans
Cover of Personalized Learning and the Every Student Succeeds Act Report

Over the past decade, a shift toward personalization has begun to take hold in our classrooms and learning communities across the country. Advocates have embraced this movement in hopes that it will close achievement gaps, increase student engagement, and address the disconnect between K-12, postsecondary education, and the workforce. While the depth of practice varies significantly across regions, states, and communities, the level of commitment to personalized learning is on the rise as an increasing number of stakeholders begin to advocate for policies that enable the expansion of personalized learning systems.

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Case Study: Distinctive Schools Leads Personalized Learning for English Language Learners in Illinois and Minnesota
children in classroom sprawled on floor while discussing papers

Each case study in this blog series is considered promising in that they incorporate many of the core principles for next generation learning to support ELL student success. All case studies are examples of programs taking a longer view and a more holistic approach to student outcomes over time - defining the goal as helping students to achieve at high levels over the course of their schooling - in addition to becoming English-proficient.

This blog and the complete series may be found at

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Designing for Equity: Leveraging Competency Based Education to Ensure All Students Succeed

This publication offers equity strategies for personalized, competency-based education to ensure a more equitable K-12 education system. Districts and schools can use the equity principles within this report to develop an equity agenda within their personalized, competency-based systems. Competency-based education systems, designed to ensure all students achieve success, holds promise as a uniquely powerful model for fostering equity, but only if equity is an intentional design feature embedded in the culture, structure and pedagogy.

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Scheduling for Learning, Not Convenience

by Emily Liebtag and Mary Ryerse

A/B, 4X4, or traditional block? Six, seven or eight-period day? Within those structures, what strategies for flexibility exist? When it comes to secondary school scheduling, there are many options. Which schedule is best? It depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

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