Experts Provide Strategies for Leveraging State Innovation Laws

Watch: Experts Share Strategies for Utilizing State Innovation Laws

Montana Implements Real-Time Assessments; Minnesota Harnesses Student Expertise; South Carolina Offers Menu of Options for Innovative Educators

By The 74

As state legislatures begin their 2024 sessions, the Education Commission of the States, New Classrooms, and KnowledgeWorks held a panel discussion on policies that permit schools to experiment with promising strategies. Experts discussed state laws that grant educators the freedom to innovate, methods to ensure local leaders are aware of these laws, and approaches to engage legislators regarding the available opportunities.

During a conversation moderated by The 74’s Beth Hawkins, three state leaders shared their innovative use of local and federal innovation laws. Stephanie DiStasio, the Director of College and Career Readiness at the South Carolina Department of Education, highlighted the creation of an “innovation playbook” that informs educators of the existing flexibility and permissible programs to explore. Julie Murgel, the Chief Operating Officer for the Montana Office of Public Instruction, discussed the state’s assessment experiment, which involves the continuous measurement of student skills throughout the year instead of relying solely on an end-of-course exam. Lucy Payne from Minnesota‚Äôs University of St. Thomas, a member of the teacher education faculty, described efforts to incorporate students’ voices into policy discussions.

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