Personalized Learning

Too many students graduate without the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college or careers. Diplomas and credits based on seat time often mislead students into thinking they are ready for the challenges of college and careers.

Personalized learning is grounded in the idea that students should progress when they demonstrate mastery of key content and skills regardless of the time spent in class or even where instruction takes place. Personalized learning tailors a student’s educational experience to meet their unique strengths, interests and needs while empowering students to play greater role in their learning.

Florida’s Mastery-Based Education Pilot Program

In 2016, the Legislature created a five-year pilot program to allow school districts to design and implement personalized learning programs to meet the needs of each student.

This school year, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Seminole County School Districts and P.Y. Yonge Developmental Research School are using one or more of the following strategies to implement personalized learning:

  • Personal learning paths that provide students with flexibility, choices of work and multiple opportunities to master the course content.
  • Mastery-based progression using scoring rubrics to evaluate a student’s mastery of content.
  • Educator-designed classes, schedules and staffing configurations that best meet their students’ individual needs.
  • Learner profiles that include the student’s strengths, goals, needs and progress.
  • Flexible learning environments that support frequent flexible grouping of students with the support of technology.

However, Florida’s participating school districts can’t continue to innovate without additional flexibility.

Bill Summary

Senate Bill 968, sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes and House Bill 1035 sponsored by Representative Jennifer Sullivan would:

  • Provide pilot districts with alternatives to awarding “credit” and defining A-F grades for middle and high school students (i.e., A = Exceeds in mastering content instead of 90-100%).
  • Allow other school districts to participate in the program.
  • Ensure that graduating students from mastery-based education programs will have fair and equitable access to post-secondary institutions.