The Aurora Institute, a national education nonprofit focused on education systems change, has released its annual report outlining key federal policy issues aimed at transforming our K-12 education system so it is fit for purpose, strengthening our democracy and shaping our next generation of engaged citizens.
Informed by the expertise and wisdom of thousands in its community, the Aurora Institute’s federal policy priorities are a set of nine recommendations designed to ensure education systems move from the current state to future-focused education systems capable of preparing all learners with building the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.
The priorities include:
Advance education innovations: Innovations in education are taking place around the world. The federal government should take a bolder stance on supporting investments in education innovations for equity that reimagine education. Research on how students learn best challenges time-based education and training practices.
Transform systems of assessments: Our systems of assessments should align with current research on how students learn best, support durable learning, and provide evidence of deeper learning. Providing data and information on how students are doing each day is critical. Doing this will require building capacity for valid and reliable
assessments of student learning, and ensuring student outcomes include demonstrations of learning that produce evidence of student work and better transparency.
Rethink next generation accountability: There is a growing realization that the traditional, time-based K-12 education system in the United States is failing to adequately prepare students for the future. Problems arise when goals and purposes defined in accountability systems are too narrow and incentives (or disincentives) are too limiting. The current accountability framework does not guide states or local communities towards an education system that reflects the evolving demands placed on our youth.
Create learning ecosystems and competency-based pathways aligned across K-12, higher education, career and technical education, and the workforce: With the unprecedented influx of $123 billion in federal funding to states and local education systems, it is critical that investments are made in what is most needed for reimagining our education systems and not just tweaking what we currently have.