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Primary & Secondary Education

School systems and governments around the world are being challenged to prepare students for 21st century jobs—they’re being asked to do more with fewer resources.

Primary and secondary education systems face an increasingly wide range of responsibilities. Schools must ensure that students master skills that can be readily adapted to a rapidly changing job market. School districts and governments must continuously upgrade the quality of their teaching workforce and equip schools and teachers with higher-quality curricula—often in the face of budget cuts.

At the same time, innovative technologies and approaches are creating new opportunities for primary and secondary education.

Personalized learning and digital tools are delivering a fundamentally different and individualized student experience to the classroom. Integrated “wraparound” support programs are helping to ensure that children arrive at school ready to learn, with an emphasis on nutrition, after-school tutoring, medical assistance, and college exam preparation.

School systems must embrace a comprehensive transformation framework that targets key drivers affecting student outcomes and identifies enablers that create the right context for change.

K-12 Transformation Framework

In order to carry out a successful K-12 transformation, school districts and governments must have the right elements in place to ensure sustained improvement. Here are six enabling elements to create the right context for change:

  1. Effective Leadership and Management. Programs to upgrade leadership quality and culture in school districts and schools
  2. Sufficient Resources. Adequate funding and robust physical and technological infrastructure for schools
  3. Abundant School Choice. Giving parents school choices within and outside traditional districts (such as charter schools)
  4. Strong Accountability. Policies to hold states, districts, schools, and teachers accountable for student outcomes
  5. Rigorous Standards. Setting rigorous standards and requirements (such as Common Core)
  6. Sophisticated Data and Measurement Systems. Reporting systems that enable better decision making and accountability

Seema Bansal

How to Fix a Broken Education System—Without Any More Money

Seema Bansal is forging a path to public education reform for 15,000 schools in Haryana, India, with an ambitious goal: by 2020, 80% of children should have grade-level knowledge. She's looking to meet this goal by seeking creative, straightforward reforms that will work in every school without additional resources.

Education
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