Theory of Change

Public education has an important role to play in preparing students to lead successful and happy lives, and helping America to prosper. But it needs a new theory of change.

Learning must improve—must become student-centered, must be personalized to motivate students. Therefore teachers, who know and understand students as individuals, must be empowered to design and lead this new type of learning.

Policy must enable and encourage this transition to student-centered, teacher-powered learning. It must unleash the creative energy of teachers and others to innovate, creating a climate of people trying things. But policy should not force these changes on anyone; those improving conventional school can continue. The idea is a split-screen strategy: do both.

Opening more widely to innovation will turn K-12 into a self-improving system. Better approaches to learning are tried, refined, replicated, and adopted by others. Innovation gradually spreading and improving is systemic reform.

Below are nine action points to move this new strategy. Click a point to read more.