Headlines are riddled with stories about college debt and affordability. And with NAEP scores pointing to historic lows, early grade outcomes continue to dominate headlines.

But high school redesign is getting more attention from state policymakers, and rightfully so. High school is, perhaps, the most critical link between our educational – and economic – aspirations for young people. It is the linchpin when it comes to translating K-12 learning into equity outcomes.  

We continue to see momentum in states and districts working to redesign the high school experience. Those efforts are often grounded in engaging students beyond the four walls of the classroom – and creating tangible opportunities for postsecondary – and workforce – success. 

  • 17+ states and many districts have developed Portraits of a Graduate or Profiles of a Learner to capture skills and experiences beyond academic outcomes. [Education Week, subscription model]
  • XQ Institute is leading the movement to redesign the nation’s high schools. Their documentary, “The First Class,” shares the inspiring story of students and teachers at Memphis’ Crosstown High and their experiences with interdisciplinary, project-based learning.
  • Indiana: IDOE recently proposed streamlining down to two new graduation paths, which both emphasize opportunities for students to personalize their high school experiences 
  • Virginia: As the Commonwealth seeks to improve its accountability framework, VDOE has conducted listening sessions to garner public input on performance indicators including new measures for high school, like including work-based learning.