The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

May 2021Volume 21, No. 2
Reimagining School


If there is a seed of opportunity buried in every crisis, then there is a chance something good can emerge from the pandemic year of building closures, shifting schedules, and disruptions to school. With the aid of American Rescue Plan funds and enriched by lessons learned from teachers, leaders, students, and parents, state boards with a vision have a chance to remake their  education systems. Or—if your vision already seemed powerful to you—to propel it more swiftly forward.

The authors in this issue should inspire state boards of education to take a fresh, post-pandemic look at their systems. The ideas themselves may not be new, but the stress test that schools faced over the last year casts new light on them.


Reimagining School



Reshaping Assessment and Accountability in 2021 and Beyond

By Andrew Rotherham, Bonnie O'Keefe and Jennifer O'Neal Schiess

Data about system performance will continue to lie at the heart of school improvement.





The Role of Technology in Reimagining School

By Andrew Ko and Kristen Amundson

Pandemic or no, states ought to press for better technology for personalized learning and making staff and students safer.





The Greenfield Path to School Improvement

By Frederick Hess

State Policymakers can help clear away the rubble that impedes vibrant reform.





Transforming Learning through Competency-Based Education

By Susan Patrick

States are adopting a range of policies to personalize student learning and move away from seat-time rules.






Seize the Moment: Double Down on Authentic Learning

By Dennis McGrath and Monica Martinez

Project-based learning tied to students' communities and interests readily makes the leap across modes of instruction.





Moving toward Competency-Based Professional Learning

By Joseph Hood and Melissa Tooley

Microcredentials embedded in effective learning systems can promote teacher growth, advancement, and retention.





Kansas Schools Build Resilience amid Redesign

By Valerie Norville

Schools opt to change their approaches to learning and see gains in adaptability.







Featured Items

Image of Tired Little Boy. Image Credit: iStock i

Six Questions State Boards Should Ask about Student Mental Health

There is an acute need for increased services, education, and supports for student mental health. Here are six questions to frame state board discussions on promoting student mental health.
Image Credit: iStock i

How States Are Handling Lead in School Drinking Water

This NASBE analysis details how statewide efforts to test for lead in school drinking water vary across the country.
Image Credit: iStock Closeup shot of two unrecognizable people holding hands in comfort. i

Empowering Youth to Prevent Suicide

This NASBE analysis highlights state action examples, identifies multipronged approaches to youth suicide prevention, and discusses federal funding opportunities available to states to support peer-to-peer programming.

Upcoming Events

From the States