Improving public education is a critical need and a complex challenge under any circumstance. The COVID-19 global pandemic has added clarity and urgency as we seek to ensure that all students have equitable access to meaningful learning opportunities. It is now necessary to rethink K-12 education to immediately provide all students with whole-child, competency-based, personalized learning pathways to best prepare them to thrive in an era of accelerating change.
Achieving this ambition will require new infrastructure within the next 90 days. Every student will need access to a modular system of learning that includes virtual, hybrid, and in-person experiences. In addition to supporting standards-based foundational knowledge and skills, this new infrastructure will be vital to enable innovation opportunities for all students such as agency, competency-based assessments, and authentic learning experiences.
In these unprecedented times where there are numerous adaptive challenges we also need to rethink how we will support and empower state education agencies, intermediaries, districts, schools, teachers, families, and students. There is no way that we can succeed in isolation.
As a result, we have formed a groundbreaking coalition to provide flexible assistance in a rapidly changing context. Led by Tom Vander Ark (Getting Smart, former superintendent and Gates Foundation Executive Director for Education and author of Power of Place, Better Together and Smart Cities) and Devin Vodicka (Altitude Learning, 2015-16 California Superintendent of the Year and author of Learner-Centered Leadership), some of the Moving Forward Together partners include:
We can also provide input for funding proposals, including the Rethink K-12 school grant. Across the coalition we have the requisite perspective, credibility and capacity to support SEAs, Intermediate Units (County Offices, RSAs, etc.), LEAs, schools, teachers, families, and students. There is no way that a single organization could provide such a wide range of capabilities.
The Moving Forward Together coalition is unique in that it is led by former Superintendents who understand the complexities of the change process from both research and experience. Coalition members have a balance of local, national, and international connectedness which will help to inform contextualized approaches that also build on insights from a broader network. Additionally, the coalition can build over time as emerging needs become apparent.
Our commitment is to ensure that all students are empowered to be creative, resilient, inquiry-driven citizens who are able to self-advocate, develop strong relationships, navigate complex information, and drive their own learning in diverse environments.
Please contact us for additional information. We look forward to expanding possibilities and moving forward together.
Devin Vodicka & Tom Vander Ark