On December 10, Alliance for Excellent Education President Bob Wise announced that more than 2,000 school district leaders, representing 16 million students, have taken the Future Ready District Pledge to personalize learning for students using effective digital learning strategies. Additionally, Wise said seventeen states have committed to developing a statewide program to support school district leaders in using Future Ready Schools (FRS) resources, including an interactive planning dashboard, for this digital transformation. Wise made the announcement at a White House event featuring the release of the National Education Technology Plan.
“‘Future Ready Schools isn’t just about technology,” said Wise. “It’s about a more personalized approach to teaching and learning that ensures that all students have the skills they need to succeed in college and a career. Future Ready Schools is about empowering teachers and leaders, helping students take charge of their own learning, and keeping parents engaged and informed.”
Launched in late 2014, FRS is an Alliance project that features more than fifty partners, including the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Coming on the heels of thirteen summits attended by more than 430 school district teams, representing 4.9 million students, Wise said that the Alliance would host more national summits in conjunction with ED in Austin, Boston, Madison, southern Florida, and Seattle in 2016.
“The national summits are helpful, but by themselves, they are not enough to move the needle,” Wise said. “As we traveled across the country in 2015, the need for relevant, ongoing professional learning opportunities for district leaders around digital learning was evident. We are particularly excited about the evolution of the Future Ready Interactive Planning Dashboard, a free online tool to help school districts assess their needs and make data-informed decisions on how to effectively use technology to engage students, empower teachers, and improve learning outcomes.”
FRS worked with national experts and school district leaders to develop a robust set of ongoing professional learning opportunities, including
- refined FRS framework, gears, and resources;
- national summits cohosted with ED through 2016;
- Future Ready Interactive Planning Dashboard and training workshops;
- a one-stop shop (the Future Ready Hub) for all FRS activities and resources;
- extension programs and powerful partnerships;
- FRS state leadership program; and
- FRS conference connections.
“Through collaboration, a robust infrastructure and personalized learning, Future Ready district leaders are shaping the vision for how technology can transform learning for all students,” said Delegated Deputy Secretary of Education John King.
Wise also unveiled the splash page of a brand-new website at www.futureready.org. The website also includes the Hub, a one-stop shop for school district leaders filled with webinars, interactive chats, expert talks, resources, and other professional development and mentoring opportunities.
 The seventeen states that have launched Future Ready statewide initiatives are California, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.