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Scholar Academies, with permission from Philadelphia School Partnership

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A Path to the Future: Creating Accountability for Personalized Learning

Anne Hyslop
Sara Mead

Personalized learning transforms students’ daily experiences so that they are customized to their individual needs and strengths. It is rooted in the expectation that students should progress through content based on demonstrated learning instead of seat time.

By contrast, standards-based accountability centers its ideas about what students should know, and when, on grade-level expectations and pacing. The result is that as personalized learning models become more widespread, practitioners are increasingly encountering tensions between personalized learning and state and federal accountability structures.

This paper seeks to help policymakers enable smart innovation and safeguard key accountability functions. By understanding the development of personalized learning and accountability, and articulating the tensions building between them, policymakers can create future accountability policies that work with personalized learning approaches and not against them.

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Read Sara Mead's Op-Ed at U.S. News & World Report.


We are happy to launch Ahead of the Heard, the team blog of Bellwether Education Partners!

Ahead of the Heard will be a regular home for commentary, analysis, and original insights from our team. We are confident that the education policy debate will benefit from the voices and perspectives of our staff.

Case Study

Having successfully implemented its previous growth plan, Harmony partnered with Bellwether to develop a strategic plan for its next five years, focusing on balancing continued growth with deepening impact in cities with already-established schools.