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Aurora Institute

Issue Brief

Innovation Zones: Creating Policy Flexibility for Competency-Based Personalized Learning (updated August 2018)

Author(s): Susan Patrick, Dale Frost, Natalie Truong, Maria Worthen

Organization(s): iNACOL

Issue(s): State Policy, Develop Educator Capacity, Create Pilots and Innovation Zones

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This issue brief describes what innovation zones are, why they are important and highlights how the following seven states/localities have approached their innovation zones statutes and regulations:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • New York City
  • North Dakota

Innovation zones or districts of innovation help state policy leaders identify outdated policies and regulations that may get in the way of educators designing new learning models to meet the needs of every student. They create space for districts and schools to innovate, identify policy barriers and remove them through waivers.