Special Report

Personalized Learning 2017

Vision Vs. Reality
November 8, 2017
Turning the far-reaching vision of personalized learning—essentially customizing education to each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and personal interests—from something crafted by state or district policymakers into actual improvements at the classroom level will take a lot of hard work. To begin with, the concept is still largely ill-defined. Plus, critics point out that personalized learning is not yet backed up by research and leans too heavily on technology to achieve its goals. Yet over the past five years, at least 15 states have taken legislative or regulatory steps to fuel personalized learning. A classic battle is emerging between an optimistic vision for innovation on one side, and skepticism about whether the changes will improve schools on the other.