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Big Ideas, Postsecondary Success

Skills-based hiring

Focus on hiring on demonstrated skills. Scroll through any job posting website and you’ll see a common theme: postings that require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Yet, major employers – including Google, Apple and Bank of America – are learning that generic degrees do not necessarily equate to the skills they need […]

Big Ideas, Postsecondary Success

Work-based learning opportunities

Career exposure and experience while in high school. Work-based learning policies and programs allow students to engage with employers and industries to improve career awareness and experiences while young people are still in high school. Programs usually begin with exposing students to an array of industries/occupations through job shadows, workplace tours, mentoring, etc.; followed by […]

Big Ideas, Postsecondary Success

Industry certifications

Earn valuable workplace credentials in high school. Industry certifications are industry-recognized credentials that demonstrate expertise in a specific area. Such credentials are valuable and necessary to work in a variety of occupations – from agriculture and manufacturing to information technology and health – and often convert to college credit as well. Given international demand for […]

Big Ideas, Postsecondary Success

College credit in high school

Receive early college credit via dual enrollment and other means. Dual enrollment policies (sometimes called concurrent enrollment) allow high school students to enroll in college courses that lead to credit in both the K-12 and postsecondary systems. Typically, it involves the student enrolling in classes at a local college while still enrolled in the K-12 […]

Big Ideas, Modern Education Funding

Funding portability

Fund students, not schools. Our outdated systems of education funding typically work like this: citizens are taxed for education, this money is allocated to a local school and district, then a catchment area is drawn by which all students residing within those boundaries are compelled to attend that particular school to meet compulsory education requirements, […]

Big Ideas, Modern Education Funding

School-level financial control

Provide school leaders with the freedom to lead. If we expect school leaders to lead, they need the freedom and autonomy to shape key aspects of school life. Freedoms around hiring, pay, curriculum, schedules, and other powers granted to managers are taken for granted in our daily lives. Yet, school leaders usually have no control […]

Big Ideas, Modern Education Funding

Student-centered funding

Fair and transparent funding based on student needs. The funding a school receives should be based on two factors: the number of students they serve and the characteristics of students enrolled. There should be a base student amount (which can be slightly adjusted for different costs of living) and funding weights for different student characteristics, […]

Big Ideas, Student-Centered Education

Reimagine the school day and week

Think of how school should look, not how it does. Customs and laws around the days, hours, and months that children are required to sit in classrooms are largely manifestations of habit. However, schools around the country are experimenting with new models, such as four-day school weeks that allow students to pursue self-directed learning on the fifth […]

Big Ideas, Student-Centered Education

Reimagine standards and assessment policies

Don’t let a test prevent innovation. A persistent barrier to innovation in education is a focus on end-of-year summative tests that are based on traditionally defined courses. These systems perpetuate age-based cohorts and prevent education leaders from creating learning environments that better meet children’s interests and passions.   Innovative schools are designing assessment practices that value a broader set of […]

Big Ideas, Student-Centered Education

Align Higher Education

Ensure innovative models are not at a disadvantage in admissions. As primary and secondary education moves to more competency-based models of education, a key challenge will be to ensure that postsecondary institutions view such transcripts in a way that does not put them at a disadvantage compared to transcripts that feature traditional elements like grade […]