“Nothing ever changes in education.” It’s not surprising that this is a common perception, after all, there is a good possibility that the schools in your town are more than 40 years old. However, while the structures may look the same or have kept the same name, it is a different story when you look inside. If those old, familiar walls could talk, there are a few things they would likely tell say.
Namely, that the education industry—just like any other industry today—has undergone unprecedented change, affecting schools, educators, the way education marketers reach them, and the data these marketers are using.
Change can be disruptive and has impacted the education industry in many ways. Consider the major legislative initiatives that altered the education landscape in recent years. Common Core State Standards were adopted across the country, initiating widespread changes in teaching techniques and assessment. Then numerous states walked away from Common Core, choosing instead to adopt their own unique standards. National standards, such as the Next Generation Science Standards and the ISTE Standards for Students, came on the scene, presenting new guidelines for student learning.
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) morphed into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and schools were faced with the mammoth job of interpreting and applying the new rules. And the drive toward privatization has led to exponential growth of charter schools, while public districts have reorganized and consolidated, and many local schools have closed. The growth of online and virtual schools has also presented new opportunities and challenges for states and school districts around the country.
While change may be a disruptor, it also sparks innovation. The flip side of the challenges of transformation is the opportunity it creates. Take technology, for instance. Not too long ago, schools and teachers were struggling to adopt technology in a meaningful way. The question, “do we need computers in schools?” was being asked on a local and national level. Today technology is virtually embedded in the classroom, in school administration, in assessment, and at home. Asking “do we need computers in schools?” is like asking generations decades ago, “do we need pencils and paper in schools?”
Check out our webinar, Ensuring Educational Equity for the 2020-2021 School Year and Beyond, to hear our expert panel discuss the challenges leading up to the 2020-2021 school year.