Revolutionizing K-12 Learning: The Rise of Innovative Models in Student-Centered Education

The Council of Chief State School Officers’ new report, Imagining More: How State Education Agencies Can Modernize the K-12 Education System to Put Student Learning at the Center, is out now with recommended actions that state leaders can take at a systems level to make way for this transformation, including promising examples of how this work has been undertaken across the country.

The report follows a national Summit hosted by CCSSO in the spring of 2023. It brought together state education chiefs and national education leaders, including Carnegie Foundation President Timothy Knowles, who are eager to revolutionize how we serve students.  

Driven by a collective understanding that the old ways aren’t enough, these educational innovators imagined a new landscape that doesn’t mend the cracks but rebuilds the foundation by accelerating models designed to amplify opportunity and prioritize equity.

Four concrete themes emerged:

  • Articulate a clear student-centered learning vision and theory of change to achieve it
  • Set conditions for redefining schools
  • Cultivate state and district capacity to support locally-driven change
  • Accelerate and support scaling of new education models

For the Carnegie Foundation, this meant presenting on rethinking how we measure student progress, adopting a learning-can-happen-anywhere approach, and thoughtfully exploring why we should move beyond the Carnegie Unit or credit hour to competency-based learning. President Knowles emphasized the vital role state leaders play in creating the conditions for change and supporting it, saying “states can and should specify the full range of skills students must possess in order to graduate world ready,”

The meeting was more than a response to the unexpected and fraught challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic; it was a call to turn vision into action.