Opinion
States Opinion

Nine Guiding Principles to Advance Public Education

April 26, 2023 1 min read
Illustration of school and government buildings with girl
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Developed by the Aspen Institute Education & Society program with a group of diverse state policymakers, the Opportunity to Learn principles offer a road map for education stakeholders to reenvision public education through shared values and approaches.

To read more about this work, visit Mapping the Future of Education: A Collection.

Instruction and the Student Experience

042423 principle 1 3

Principle 1: All students deserve the opportunity to develop their character, talents and interests, while receiving support to address individual learning needs.

Principle 2: All students deserve opportunities that prepare them to succeed in the future of work.

Principle 3: All students deserve opportunities that prepare them to fully participate in American democracy.

Important Enabling Conditions

042423 principle 4 6

Principle 4: All students deserve safe and healthy environments that are conducive to academic learning.

Principle 5: All students deserve access to caring adults with expertise in creating quality learning environments and experiences.

Principle 6: All students deserve instruction and tasks that are worthy of their effort, aligned to state standards, and relevant to the skills they will need to succeed in life.

The Role of the State

042423 principle 7 9

Principle 7: States establish essential policy context and enabling conditions regarding all students’ opportunities to learn.

Principle 8: Schools and public education systems need partnerships with other public agencies and service providers to adequately understand and address students’ needs, opportunities, and outcomes.

Principle 9: States must strategically collect and use data to illuminate the extent to which schools are providing all students with opportunities to learn.

Read the Collection

Illustration of students and hands.
Robert Neubecker for Education Week

Source: Aspen Institute Education & Society Program.
A version of this article appeared in the May 03, 2023 edition of Education Week as Nine Guiding Principles to Advance Public Education

Events

School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
Strategies for Incorporating SEL into Curriculum
Empower students to thrive. Learn how to integrate powerful social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies into the classroom.
Content provided by Be GLAD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Does a Ten Commandments Display in Classrooms Violate the Constitution?
Louisiana is poised to become the first state to require all schools to post the Ten Commandments in classrooms.
7 min read
Human hand holding a magnifying glass over open holy bible book of Exodus verses for Ten Commandments, top view
Marinela Malcheva/iStock/Getty
States Q&A 'Politics Does Not Belong in Education,' Says a Departing State Schools Chief
Improving student outcomes requires finding common ground, says Missouri's long-serving education commissioner, Margie Vandeven.
9 min read
Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven talks to students participating in Future Farmers of America during an event in February 2024, in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven talks to students participating in Future Farmers of America during an event in February 2024, in Jefferson City, Mo. Vandeven is stepping down from her position after more than eight years on the job.
Courtesy of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
States Should Voters Decide What Schools Teach?
Californians may vote to require a new high school finance course. Critics argue it sets a bad precedent.
6 min read
A man stands behind a row of electronic voting machines covered with yellow privacy shields as he uses a touch screen to vote.
A lone voter casts his ballot for Super Tuesday at a polling station in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on March 5, 2024.
Richard Vogel/AP
States Is Bipartisan Education Policy Still Possible?
It's still possible to forge cross-party education policy coalitions, advocates said.
5 min read
Image of a small U.S. flag in a pencil case.
iStock/Getty