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How We Help

Realizing the power and promise of 21st century learning for every student.

We help education leaders engage their community to re-envision and transform their school systems. We take a systems approach to promote enduring transformation of the system and equitable, deeper learning outcomes for every student.

This holistic approach includes a visioning and strategic process that focuses on the nested system: the Portrait of a Graduate, the Portrait of an Educator, the Portrait of a Leader, and the Portrait of a System. Our theory of action identifies the key phases of system transformation. Post-pandemic, this approach is important for responding to learning loss.


Our Theory of Action for School System Transformation




Portrait of a Graduate: A first step in system transformation

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Strategic alignment of the system, anchored by the vision

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Portrait to Practice: Deeper learning experiences for every student

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Professional Learning Networks: Taking collective action to accelerate 21st century learning and system transformation


Locally developed and globally positioned, a school system’s Portrait of a Graduate is developed with the community to identify the 21st century skills, mindsets, and competencies students need to be lifelong learners and contributors. We help school systems engage their communities to develop a collective vision, which serves as the North Star for system transformation. 


What is 21st century learning?

Deeper learning equips students with not only rigorous academic content, but also the ability to transfer their knowledge while using essential skills and mindsets in new, even unexpected, situations. 21st century learning experiences empower students to be lifelong learners and contributors in this uncertain, ever-changing world.

Want to learn more about developing a Portrait of a Graduate, your school system's vision for 21st century learning?

For enduring transformation, all aspects of the system—including the strategic plan—must be aligned and anchored in the vision of 21st century learning, the Portrait of a Graduate. This systems approach is essential to producing equitable, deeper learning outcomes for every student.

We provide education leaders these strategic offerings to establish conditions that advance 21st century learning throughout the system:


Our strategic planning process begins with establishing the system's vision—the design of the Portrait of a Graduate—and results in identifying the bold moves that bring this vision to life for all students.

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Every school system is unique and complex with interdependent parts. Intentionally aligning each part of the system establishes conditions of readiness to bring your vision to life for every student.

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Interested in learning more about developing the strategies necessary to bring your vision to life?

To bring the Portrait of a Graduate or vision to life, educators must be empowered and supported with relevant professional learning and resources.

We offer these Portrait to Practice services to equip educators as they design and implement deeper learning experiences for every student:

Assessment 21

This online, professional learning experience is for teams of teachers, principals, and central office leaders to explore key practices in assessing deeper learning.

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The Student Experience

This online suite of tools ​helps educators respond to student voice around the themes of hope, engagement, and belonging in 21st century learning experiences.

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HC 21

This suite of online modules and consulting services helps education leaders design, implement, and scale 21st century human capital systems to attract, retain, and grow an empowered workforce.

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Portrait to Practice

To help a school system bring its Portrait of a Graduate to life, we offer customized professional learning services to implement 21st century learning frameworks, design learning experiences, develop assessment strategies, and more.

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Contact us today to learn how we can help.

In our networks, visionary leaders work together to transform education and advance 21st century learning for all students.


The real power of the EdLeader21 Network is our members. It’s the interactions and connections among 200+ innovative school systems across the country that enable us all to accelerate 21st century learning for every student together. Members engage in collaborative professional learning and networking to transform their educational systems and help one another learn, share, and grow.

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SOAR is our state and regional network model for innovative school system leaders and educators, affording opportunities for in-person collaborative learning and capacity building. All state/regional SOAR network members also participate in our EdLeader21 national network.

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Learn more about customized consulting and other ways we help.