Transforming Education into a Learning System

Every day, educators, advocates, and families strive to ensure that our schools prepare all students to excel academically and thrive in life. To realize that ambitious goal, we must ensure that our education sector functions at all levels as a learning system. Too often, though, a culture of compliance and a desire to preserve the status quo take precedence over innovation and improvement, slowing the pace of progress.

In Transforming the Education Sector into a Learning System: Perspectives from the Field and Recommendations, Carnegie Corporation of New York and Education Counsel address a critical question of how to accelerate a shift from our current educational system to a new learning system.

The ambitious vision for what is possible is outlined, along with starting points for making this shift. Executing on these ideas will require comprehensive plans that, among other things, enumerate specific actions, clarify roles, and identify needed resources.

Recommendations include the following:

Human Capacity

  • Define the capacities we need.


  • Invest more in the education R&D infrastructure.
  • Invest more in Research-Practice partnerships.


  • Identify, connect, and develop the field of learning system leaders.

Policy and Incentives

  • Capitalize on ongoing efforts to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Develop a learning systems policy framework.

For more, see: