Our world has changed so vastly over the last century, from the way we communicate, to the way we get around, to the way we work. But schools and classrooms today remain strikingly similar to those of the 1920s. And data shows us that the current model of education is not meeting the needs of the 21st century. Chronic absenteeism and teacher burnout are high. The non-academic needs of learners are more acute than ever, and many students are graduating unprepared for the demands of the modern day workforce.
To address the root causes of these challenges, we must consider whether and how to rethink the system entirely. We believe the place to start is by looking at how we can reimagine three core components of learning: people, place, and time. This has been the focus of our work over the past year.
After many hours of research as well as interviews and discussions with the field, we've begun to start answering those questions. We shared our findings throughout our Condition of Education Week:
JANUARY 29: NEW DATA DASHBOARD
We just launched a brand-new interactive data dashboard! It tracks a wide-ranging set of indicators in the Massachusetts education system, from early education through college and career. The tool provides a look at both state- and district-level data on everything from student enrollment trends and teacher retention rates to school discipline data and test scores. Many of the indicators can be disaggregated based on race, gender, and socioeconomic status. We also released the first of our series of Data Stories, focusing on teacher diversity in Massachusetts.
JANUARY 30: STATE OF THE STATE OF EDUCATION
On January 30 we held our annual summit on the state of education in Massachusetts, bringing together education leaders, policymakers, and practitioners to talk about how we can rethink our education system and reimagine when, where, and how learning happens. The event featured a keynote address from Massachusetts Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler and a panel discussion with all three state education commissioners—Early Education and Care Commissioner Amy Kershaw, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley, and Higher Education Commissioner Noe Ortega.
JANUARY 31: ACTION GUIDE
This year's action guide looks at ways to rethink education to better align with the realities and needs of the modern world. We'll look specifically at three core components of learning—people, place, and time—and delve into promising examples of how each can be reimagined in Massachusetts schools. We'll also provide policy recommendations that can help expand innovative approaches across the state.
FEBRUARY 1: COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
As we consider a new vision for learning in Massachusetts, we'll be sharing a recorded conversation with practitioners about their work and ideas for how we can rethink when, where, and how learning happens. Check your inbox for this recorded conversation on February 1.