Panel to Target What and How Students Learn, and How They Demonstrate Knowledge
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Public education in America is undergoing radical transformation. Schools today are implementing new, more rigorous and sophisticated academic standards overhauling public education. Responding to the changing face of K-12 education and the future implications of new teaching delivery methods will require the active involvement of state policymakers and local school officials.
To foster that involvement, The Council of State Governments has created the Deeper Learning Focus Group, a diverse national panel of experts, for a series of meetings targeting what students learn, how they learn it and how they demonstrate their knowledge. Deeper learning is a teaching method that involves a more rigorous and student-focused curriculum than traditional teaching strategies. It also involves learning that is research-driven rather than textbook-driven, critical thinking and problem-solving activities, effective communication, collaboration, and students monitoring and directing their own work.
The Deeper Learning Focus Group is comprised of state legislators, high-ranking officials from state education departments, members of state boards of education, local school district administrators, education advisers to mayors and governors, and representatives from national education agencies and corporate partners. The group will hold its inaugural meeting March 8-10 in Las Vegas to begin developing a comprehensive list of state and local policies and practices that will ensure new strategies known as Deeper Learning are embedded in classrooms across the country.
Through Deeper Learning, the role of the teacher is changing from a dispenser of information to a guide who helps students turn information into knowledge and understanding. The mission of the Deeper Learning Focus Group is to provide a roadmap to help policymakers navigate the best course to achieve these outcomes and overcome barriers they may encounter along the way.
“Reaching that point where deeper learning can occur will not happen in a vacuum,” CSG Education Policy Director Pam Goins said. “Deeper learning is the foundation to help ensure all students are college- and career-ready. State and local policies and practices must come together to make sure every student, regardless of where he or she lives, benefits from this high-quality redesign of public education.”
Members of the Deeper Learning Focus Group will also meet on April 26-28 in Hollywood, Fla. After that meeting, CSG will issue a report that will provide a framework for actions that can be taken by state policymakers to incorporate the principles of Deeper Learning in public education.
CSG’s Deeper Learning Focus Group members are:
Emilie Amundson, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Linda Archambault, Gibson Middle School, Las Vegas
Superintendent Jack Dale, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, Alabama
Valerie Greenhill, EdLeader21
Chairman Bill Harrison, North Carolina State Board of Education
Scott Hartl, Expeditionary Learning
Terrance Herron, Microsoft Corporation
Martez Hill, North Carolina State Board of Education
Commissioner Terry Holliday, Kentucky Department of Education
Allyson Knox, Microsoft Corporation
Denise Link, Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board
Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, Nevada
Superintendent Susan Lusi, Providence Public School District, Providence, R.I.
Abbe Mattson, Explore Knowledge Academy, Las Vegas
Rep. Lisa Meier, North Dakota
Rachael Peckham, Gibson Middle School, Las Vegas
Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts, Wisconsin
Steve Pound, Maine State Board of Education
Rep. Karen Rohr, North Dakota
Angela Romans, Mayor Angel Taveras’ office, Providence, R.I.
Scheherazade Salimi, Mayor Vincent Gray’s office, Washington, D.C.
Marty Smith, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
Rep. Jeff Thompson, Idaho
Janet Waugh, Kansas State Board of Education
Erin Wheeler, Clairemont Elementary, Decatur, Ga.
The Deeper Learning Focus Group is funded through a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation with additional support from CSG’s 21st Century Foundation.
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.