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Next Generation Learning (NxGL)

Since last summer, the Department has been working with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Stupski Foundation, and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation on advancing innovative approaches to K-12 learning known as “Next Generation Learning,” or NxGL. The critical attributes of Next Generation Learning are characterized as:

  • Personalizing learning, which calls for a data-driven framework to set goals, assess progress, and ensure students receive the academic and developmental supports they need;
  • Comprehensive systems of learning supports, which address social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development along a continuum of services to ensure the success of all students;
  • World-class knowledge and skills, which require achievement goals to sufficiently encompass the content knowledge and skills required for success in a globally-oriented world;
  • Performance-based learning, which puts students at the center of the learning process by enabling the demonstration of mastery based on high, clear, and commonly-shared expectations;
  • Anytime, everywhere opportunities, which provide constructive learning experiences in all aspects of a child’s life, through both the geographic and the Internet-connected community; and
  • Authentic student voice, which is the deep engagement of students in directing and owning their individual learning and shaping the nature of the education experience among their peers.

NH is one of seven states brought together to advance this set of design principles. The other six state education agencies (SEAs) that stepped forward to be part of this bold effort, and demonstrated both readiness and capacity to establish an Innovation Lab-comprised of the SEA, district(s), school(s), and partners-within their state include Kentucky, Maine, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. These states will work together with intensive support from CCSSO, the Stupski Foundation, and others who will be engaged in the partnership.

Over the last several years there have been a number of developments that have placed in sharp focus the need to more closely examine how we all are planning for the future of public education. The economic downturn has created many challenges for all of us in terms of budgets and capacity to deliver quality educational services. The "disruptive innovation" brought on by rapid advancements in the use of educational technology has forced us to think in new modalities and to envision and strategize for the future in ways that may have not been anticipated just a few short years ago. The larger community expectations of student performance have grown exponentially during this same time, as has the need for intensive and dramatic student engagement. Meanwhile, we are assailed almost every day by test scores and anecdotal evidence of tremendous transformation happening all across the globe in the field of education. It is time we come together to think and plan together regarding our future.

On Monday, May 23, 2011, a group of district/school administrators, educational technology leaders and nationally recognized speakers in the field of education met to discuss advancing innovative approaches to K-12 learning known as “Next Generation Learning,” or NxGL. We invite all interested districts to join with us in this exciting partnership for next generation learning.

On July 14, 2011, representatives from seven school districts met with Dr. Tom Carroll and Jeff Dilks of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) to explore the possibility of creating a Learning Studios network here in NH. Learning Studios enable Learning Teams of educators, tech-savvy youth, and skill-based volunteers to develop innovative approaches to complex learning challenges.

On August 3rd and 4th, representatives of the Partnership for Next Generation Learning, the Stupski Foundation, and the Council of Chief State School Officers visited with students, teachers, and leaders of the Manchester School of Technology and the Manchester School District to look at examples of student voice and agency at the school, including the CTE Center, the PASS Program, and the Adult Education Program. The PNxGL is looking to create learning labs, where youth will be active co-creators and partners, along with teachers, principals, superintendents, and State Chiefs. Over the next 3 years, the Learning Labs will design, test, and transform learning. To build a shared evidence base, labs will take common assessments, exchange data with each other, and engage in continuous improvement cycles as they learn what works. Through these repeated cycles, the labs will discover and document concrete practices that improve student agency, embed technology and ultimately result in dramatically increased student learning.

On September 20th and 21st, a team of five NH educators joined the Deputy Commissioner at a national meeting of the seven Innovation Lab States in the Partnership with representatives of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Stupski Foundation to address common Next Generation Learning elements across the states.

On Thursday, October 27, 2011 districts, Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), and others who have indicated interest in the NH Partnership for Next Generation Learning came together to learn more about Learning Studios and the emerging NH Network. Workshops engaged teams in what a Learning Studio might look like in a given school and community. Learning Studios create a scenario where a series of learning challenges are offered, for students, teachers, and community members. Within a Learning Studio, teams of students and adults work together to address the learning challenges. Learning Studios are seen as an excellent entry point to begin the transition to a more personalized, student-centered learning environment, discussed further within the Partnership for Next Generation Learning.

The NH Department of Education has received a small grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to help coordinate this effort and to engage National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, (NCTAF), in this work. Recently, the Stupski Foundation has designated Manchester School of Technology as one of a select group of initial high schools nationwide to join a newly launched Learning Lab Network. Through this new initiative Manchester School District students, educators, and administrators will be connected to their peers nationwide, sharing lessons and building a body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the student centered approach.


Parthenon’s Education Center of Excellence (ECE) is pleased to share the publication of Next Generation Learning – Defining and Scaling the Opportunity, co-authored by Parthenon’s Seth Reynolds and Tammy Battaglino, in partnership with Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Opportunity Equation and Stupski Foundation.

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) - Next Generation Learners

The George Lucas Education Foundation Edutopia - excerpt from the book Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding


Paul Leather
Deputy Commissioner
(603) 271-3801

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711