I think there are a couple. One is everyone has different definitions of what is meant by personalized learning. And so it will be painted with this broad brush including everything from using an app in a classroom to the type of work that we do [at Teach to One], and in ways that aren’t really helpful to advancing the conversation.

I think the second challenge that we see is that we have an assessment and accountability regimen that’s focused on grade-level standards, and personalized learning is really about meeting kids where they are and enabling them to accelerate.

Giving teachers a bunch of computers and saying “Go do personalized learning” isn’t really personalized learning; it’s a tool in that situation.

The way our model works is we take the data from when students come in on the first day, be it fifth grade or ninth grade. With that data, we create what’s effectively a personalized curriculum that is a reflection of skills they don’t yet know and will be ready to learn. In some cases, that includes pre-grade skills, on-grade skills, or post-grade skills. The goal is to accelerate students as best we can by meeting them where they are.

Read the full interview with Joel Rose on challenges for personalized learning by Laura Fay at The 74