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Aurora Institute

November 13, 2020

Courageous and visionary policy actions are needed to advance the transformation of teaching and learning in K-12 education. Each year, we convene state policymakers, advocates, funders, system and school leaders, and educators for an intensive exploration of education policy trends and possibilities. Together, we grapple with issues driving the entry into and deepening of student-centered learning models, learn from states leading the way, and make time for targeted connection among education decision-makers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we convened the 2020 National Policy Forum virtually with more than 100 education leaders and policy decision-makers.

Our goals were to:

  • Set a vision for the future of K-­12 education
  • Deepening understanding of policies that need addressing, leverage points for change, and recommendations to transform K-­12 education systems
  • Developing and implementing future-­focused education policy and managing the crisis in 2020 toward a call for transformation
  • Advancing state policy to support personalized, competency-­based education

Speakers at this year’s event included:

  • Susan Patrick, President & CEO, Aurora Institute
  • Sarah Young, Utah State Board of Education
  • Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, Washington State House of Representatives
  • Denise Airola, Director, Office of Innovation for Education, University of Arkansas
  • Aaron McKinnon, Mastery-Based Education Coordinator, Idaho State Department of Education
  • Nick Moore, Education Policy Advisor and Coordinator Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation
  • Paul Leather, Director of the Interstate Learning Community, Center for Innovation in Education
  • Rebecca Holmes, President & CEO, The Colorado Education Initiative
  • Alyssa Evans, Policy Researcher, Education Commission of the States

Below are recordings of each speaker.


National Overview of State Policies to Drive Transformation of K-­12 Education Systems





States Snapshots: Advancing Breakthrough Policies

Redefining Success to Ensure All Students Graduate Prepared for the Future: Profile of a Graduate




Building Capacity for Competency-­based Education




Creating Innovation Zones




Creating Task Forces to Launching Statewide Pilot Programs to Support Education Innovation




Aligning K-­12, Higher Education, CTE, and Workforce Pathways





Developing Balanced Systems of Assessments

National Landscape Scan of States: Balanced Systems of Assessments



Rethinking Accountability Systems for Next Generation Learning

Colorado: Creating Next Generation Accountability Systems for Student-­Centered Learning


Educator Workforce Diversification and Modernization

A Snapshot of State Policies on Modernizing and Diversifying the Teacher Workforce