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Aurora Institute

Issue Brief

Redefining Student Success: Profile of a Graduate

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

Organization(s): iNACOL

Issue(s): State Policy, Redefine Student Success

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This policy issue brief provides recommendations for state policymakers to generate a shared vision for student success that prepares all students for college, career and civic life.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides states with an unprecedented opportunity to transform K-12 education systems with new flexibility. The new law makes it possible for state leaders to start with a new definition of success that provides a more well-rounded education, redesign systems of assessments, accountability models, and educator preparation and development systems that coherently align to and support more holistic student learning outcomes.

Under ESSA, it calls for states to work with local communities and redefine student success states have the potential to engage deeply with communities in conversations around the purpose of K-12 public education and what students should know and be able to do upon graduation. Conversations around new definitions of success can include academic competencies, social emotional competencies, skills and dispositions necessary for success. This issue brief provides recommendations and resources for state policymakers who are ready to engage deeply with communities and develop clear, comprehensive definitions of student success, designed to ensure every student can succeed in K-12 education and beyond.