The New Priorities of K-12 Education

For Thomas Murray, every conversation is a balancing act. As the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, located in Washington, D.C., he strives to promote big picture changes when it comes to things like student equity and educating the whole child while realizing the incredible struggles of day-to-day teaching and learning during the pandemic. In this episode, he straddles the spectrum to provide plenty of insight.

Future Ready Schools (FRS) helps innovative educators ensure that each student graduates from high school with the agency, passion, and skills to be a productive, successful, and responsible citizen.

Through FRS’s tools and resources, district and school leaders collaborate to advance evidence-based practices and create rigorous and engaging student-centered learning environments. The FRS network emphasizes vision, culture, leadership, strong pedagogy, goal setting, and the critical role of “people” in personalized learning. Technology is a necessary tool that enables these new systems to perform efficiently with equity for every child.

Tom has testified before the United States Congress and has worked alongside that body, the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered learning while helping to lead Future Ready Schools and Digital Learning Day. An ASCD best-selling author, Murray serves as a regular conference keynote, was named the “2018 National/Global EdTech Leader of the Year,” by EdTech Digest, the “2017 Education Thought Leader of the Year,” one of “20 to Watch” by NSBA in 2016, and the “Education Policy Person of the Year” by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. His best-selling book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today, co-authored with Eric Sheninger and published by ASCD, was released in June 2017. His most recent book, Personal & Authentic: Designing Learning Experiences that Impact a Lifetime, was released in October of 2019.

Prior to moving to his role in Washington, D.C., Murray served as an elementary teacher, middle school teacher, middle school principal, elementary principal, and at the district level in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is most passionate about creating cultures of innovation where teachers are empowered to create the types of learning experiences today’s modern learners need to thrive.

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