Let’s build high-quality, equitable, and individualized learning experiences for all young people.
Assembly seeks to create equitable systems of education in which students can access a diversity of learning experiences, services, and supports that encourage their well-being, ensure mastery of knowledge and skills, and enable them to pursue their interests, talents, and goals.
Families with means already have disproportionate access to these opportunities through supplemental and out-of-system learning, creating a “shadow inequity” in how, where, and when students learn.
Assembly can break down barriers between school, family, and community to support every aspect of a child’s growth and development.
Assembly puts families and students at the center of flexible services, supports, and learning experiences and allows them to customize experiences and build community. Equitable Assembly requires policies and practices that ensure access isn’t constrained by socioeconomic status or structural barriers such as transportation.
Each young person has fundamental needs as well as unique interests, talents, and goals. They require a variety of supports to grow into adults ready to contribute to their community, the economy, and the body politic.
- English as a second language
- English language arts
- Foreign language
- Individual passions
- Mental health, therapy, and related supports
- Physical health and wellness screenings
- Sense of community
- Social services
- Social studies
- Special education
- Work experience
A flexible learning ecosystem includes the diversity of options available within and outside of school. To access these options, students and their families need funding, information, and agency.
Families need adequate, portable funding to ensure their children’s needs are met.
Families need information to find learning options, assess how they align to students’ needs, and navigate the system.
Families need a sense of what’s possible, what engagement in their children’s education can look like, and guidance and support to take advantage of available opportunities.
Students could learn and receive support from many potential providers, each of which can contribute components of what students need for lifelong success.
- District schools
- Charter schools
- Private schools
- Nonprofit organizations
- Public agencies
For a flexible learning ecosystem to function, an array of enabling conditions must develop.
- Broadband internet and devices
- Buildings and locations to gather
- Learning materials
- Navigation support
- Platforms and marketplaces
- Student records
- Accountability and transparency
- Option-enabling policies
- Funding mechanisms
- Governance arrangements
- Student data and privacy
- Other supportive policies
- Community members
A one-size-fits-all education solution puts an undue burden on schools to provide everything to young people. It leaves too many communities without diverse, high-quality educational experiences that meet the needs of all students — let alone experiences that cultivate students’ interests and passions. Those with resources routinely supplement or replace learning in school with tutoring, extracurriculars, and more, creating a “shadow inequity” that’s too often overlooked within the education sector.
What does Assembly mean for students?
K-12 students can access more learning, including academic courses, internships, dual enrollment opportunities, athletics, art, music, and more. Through an Assembly model, students can discover and explore their passions, cultivate their talents, discover their academic passions and career goals, and design a fuller, better education.
What are the challenges?
To make Assembly a reality, the field must understand infrastructure, human capital, and policy needs, including funding and costs; how Assembly can be accessible to all students across different and diverse communities; and how to navigate quality, equity, cost, accountability, data, and political roadblocks.
Beta by Bellwether, Advisory Group members, and field leaders will share research and analysis on how Assembly exists today, how localities are already doing Assembly, and how to better understand and overcome key challenges that face Assembly.
Walton Family Foundation
Maya Martin Cadogan
Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE)
Mastery Transcript Consortium
Author, From Reopen to Reinvent
Center on Reinventing Public Education
Stand Together Trust
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
Nevada Action for School Options
Progressive Policy Institute
Note: Bellwether intentionally recruits an Advisory Group with diverse viewpoints. Participation in the Assembly Advisory Group does not constitute an endorsement of any of the ideas or perspectives shared here.
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