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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 Our outdated systems of education funding typically work like this: citizens are taxed for education, this money is allocated to a local school and district, then a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 […]

Big Ideas, Student-Centered Education

Move to competency-based education

Remove arbitrary seat time rules and focus on content mastery Most education systems are organized around specific requirements related to the number of hours (or even minutes) a student receives in a day, week, and schoolyear. These requirements usually influence funding, staffing, schedules, how content is delivered, and other core areas that serve as an […]

Big Ideas, Student-Centered Education

Flexibility and regulatory waivers

Remove the red tape that prevents innovation from taking root. It’s nearly impossible to construct a student-centered system of education within a system of rules and regulations designed for a factory model. Often, policies surrounding funding, assessment, calendars, staffing, reporting, and many other areas impede innovation. Thus, a mechanism for flexibility from state- and district-level policies is […]

Big Ideas, Student-Centered Education

Innovation Vision Statements

Set a vision for what education should be, and where it should go. Transitioning an education system from a factory model to a student-centered model requires long-term commitment and alignment of stakeholders. States will be well-served by creating a clear vision statement that reestablishes the purpose of education and allows schools, districts and educators to […]

Big Ideas, Learning Opportunities

Extended Learning Opportunity

Provide access to outside learning opportunities. Students learn everywhere, but access to these extended learning opportunities is unequal. Whether it is cuts to programming within schools (arts, athletics, field trips, etc.) or differences in families’ ability to pay for or provide these opportunities, greater access to this valuable, enriching learning opportunities for every child should […]

Big Ideas, Learning Opportunities

Learn Everywhere

Harnessing the power of new learning experiences. While the learning that takes place inside the traditional classroom is important, we know that students can learn through a diversity of approaches and from a variety of experiences. Learning opportunities that are designed to address the interests and aptitudes of each student have the potential to allow […]