What does it mean to be a World-Leading Learner?

A World-Leading Learner is a school that is changing what and how students learn to ensure that they graduate with the skills and experience necessary for success no matter what path they choose. These are schools that are challenging the traditional measures of and approaches to success. Not only are they focused on achieving academic excellence, but also on developing the knowledge and skills to succeed in careers and life. These schools are increasingly aware of and focused on the changing demands of the economy, motivated to respond, exploring innovative approaches to dynamic teaching and learning, and creating industry-aligned career pathways for students.


The Global Learning Network, in partnership with America Achieves and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), selected 30 World-Leading Learners from six countries in 2017. In the United States, schools were selected after being nominated by state departments of education and partner organizations. Each school was selected for its strong demonstration of educational excellence, equity, and/or innovation as determined by an interview with our team and a review of other criteria such as student performance data and school demographics to ensure that school leaders are able to have meaningful dialogue around changes in the global economy. These World-Leading Learners represent diversity in school size and type, students served, and strategic approach from across the country and the world. Each World-Leading Learner was selected for its strong display in one or more of the following categories:


Excellence - schools that exhibit high academic achievement;

Equity - schools that are reducing the achievement gap between racial and socioeconomic groups;

Innovation - schools that are aligning classroom outcomes with local labor market skills that are crucial to success in the 21st century economy.