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

Engaging All Students

Authors explore the reasons why students increasingly feel uninspired and disengaged at school and outline steps state leaders can take to help schools and districts increase students’ engagement and connectedness.
Image Credit: iStock i

Beyond Testing for Lead in Drinking Water: Implications for Funding

While most states encourage or require schools to test for lead in drinking water, funding to sustain remediation lags—despite significant federal grants designed to boost those efforts.

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