In 2016 – 17, the Commission partners with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) and Innovation Partners to conduct the state’s first landscape study of personalized learning. Charting New Frontiers in Student-Centered Learning reflects the voices and opinions of education leaders and stakeholders from across the state and includes five key recommendations:
- Develop a common vision of student mastery by the conclusion of high school. Graduate profiles, signaling new sets of competencies, can support and provide the vision and impetus for transformative change. Profiles not only establish agreed-upon goals for students’ learning, but can also be leveraged to transform the human capital, systems, structures, processes, and culture that supports student learning in the modern era.
- Use this new vision to drive and inspire development of an intentional framework and set of principles that direct policy, statewide and locally, in recognizing different learners and how they can be supported in their pathways to success. This work would be shaped by pioneers leading the way. Connecticut has an opportunity to forge the outcomes we need, and the student-centered innovation required to get us there.
- Create a jointly owned “innovation lab.” This lab would distinguish between education reform that increases the efficiency of the system we have versus approaches to transforming it, and act as a catalyst for a broader research and development movement.
- Enact a campaign to identify and amplify the work of cross-sector student-centered pioneers that showcase the graduate of the future. Innovating toward new outcomes requires tolerance for risk as well as a set of knowledge and skill competencies leveraged by individuals and organizations across the system. Innovation can shift from being the domain of a few “creative types” to becoming a ubiquitous and recognized capability—but we need strong examples.
- Identify and analyze untapped and unrealized resources that exist in every corner of Connecticut, in regional and national networks, and online. We need to think differently about and leverage available resources to catapult innovation. With the stakes so high, the challenge of building a successful graduate cannot rest on a request for more resources. We must pursue promising strategies, including the redeployment of existing resources, new partnerships, co-innovation, and work across sectors to share and create the open resources, tools, and practices that these times demand.
This report is meant to capture and contribute to a conversation already taking place across Connecticut. We hope it serves as a way to engage and invite others, across this diverse ecosystem of change agents and practitioners, to envision and launch the legacy our children deserve.
We also encourage members of the broader educational community to visit the Connecticut State Department of Education's Mastery-Based Learning Resource Center. On that page you will find an introduction to mastery-based learning (MBL); schematic on the inputs, outputs, and essential conditions of MBL; and related guidance and legislation.