Do you have a Portrait of a Graduate?


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Portrait of a Graduate: A First Step in Transforming Your School System

featured-story-01 Every school system is unique, but they are connected by a shared aspiration: that all students have an educational experience preparing them to be effective lifelong learners and contributors.

Now more than ever, that experience must not only provide for the acquisition of rigorous academic content, but it must also be more intentional about fostering critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and other 21st century skills our young people need to thrive in this complex, rapidly changing world.

Many school systems across the country have engaged their larger community in developing a Portrait of a Graduate, a collective vision that articulates the community’s aspirations for all students. 

Locally developed, but globally positioned, the Portrait of a Graduate serves as a North Star for system transformation. Providing strategic direction for the redesign of the overall educational experience for students, this collective vision reinvigorates and re-engages students, teachers, and community stakeholders.

As education leaders, it is important to ask: 

  • What are the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that our community has for our young people?
  • What are the skills and mindsets that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?
  • What are the implications for the design of the learning experiences—and equitable access to those experiences—we provide in our school systems?

The Portrait of a Graduate is the first step in framing a new vision for your school system. Once you create your Portrait, the exciting work of implementing this new vision begins.

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Which student will be best prepared to contribute and compete in this global economy?



Every school system’s Portrait will be unique, reflecting the shared vision of the community. Our gallery showcases many examples.

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