The call for deeper learning places new demands on education systems already struggling with how best to educate a student body that is marked by increasing economic, cultural, linguistic, and racial diversity: The new educational equity imperative now demands all students be educated to this higher, deeper level.
Many states—and state boards in particular—have articulated and supported policies to enable deeper learning. Such policies include the adoption and implementation of new college, career, and civic-ready standards that focus on deeper understanding of fewer, more essential areas of content; accountability and assessment systems that not only emphasize what students know but what students are able to do with knowledge; support for educator preparation systems that enable deeper learning competencies; and provisions for greater flexibility and innovation for schools working to prepare students for this new world. While much of this work is under way across the country, states are at different stages of implementation, and challenges remain in making cohesive connections across initiatives.
This report is aimed at supporting state boards of education that are working on providing significantly more students with deeper learning opportunities and facilitating board-level conversations on key related topics. The report provides foundational principles that underlie deeper learning, explores issues, provides state examples, and includes worksheets that boards can use to facilitate discussions and come to solutions that make sense given the unique needs of each state.