KnowledgeWorks believes the federal government is a critical partner in helping state and local innovators build dynamic education systems where every student is challenged, and every student succeeds. Our organization has a dedicated presence in Washington, D.C., and works closely with federal policymakers to support local innovation by adopting new policies that support personalized learning, removing policy barriers that make it challenging to innovate, and committing federal resources to support next generation approaches to teaching and learning.
Our federal policy and advocacy work is focused on four high-level strategies for building policy environments that support personalized learning at scale. Each of these strategies emphasizes strong partnerships between federal, state and local leaders to ensure alignment across the education system.
- Incentivize effective transitions between K–12 and higher education to increase college enrollment and persistence. The federal government should better align our nation’s K-12 and postsecondary education systems through incentives in both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Higher Education Act (HEA). The federal government should encourage innovative strategies such as competency education and like early college high schools that help students seamlessly transition from secondary to postsecondary education with the knowledge and skills to persist and earn a degree. Check out our work through the College in High School Alliance for more information on how the federal government can improve college readiness, persistence, and completion.
- Help states and districts scale K–12 personalized learning systems. Federal policymakers can partner with innovative leaders back home to ensure they have the flexibility to innovate, the resources to build something new, and national leadership to help them replicate effective strategies at scale. This includes freedom to build more meaningful accountability and assessment systems that drive continuous improvement of student learning.
- Support personalized learning pathways toward a postsecondary credential by making the federal financial aid system more flexible. The federal government should modernize the federal financial aid system to ensure it is more flexible, better able to address changing career requirements, and reflective of the nation’s increasing interest in personalized education. Efforts to modernize the system should include opportunities for high school students to access federal financial aid for postsecondary coursework as well as competency-based degree programs.
- Increase federal resources to support personalized learning. Federal policymakers can help states, districts, and other education stakeholders invest in and expand high-quality teaching and learning programs by prioritizing discretionary resources to support personalized learning. An emphasis on personalized learning will ensure federal resources support high-impact strategies with the potential to close achievement gaps and ensure all students succeed.