With AYO, Mesquite ISD gives students new freedom to shape their learning

Mesquite Independent School District (ISD) sought to realign the student journey — i.e., how students synthesize their individual passions and aptitudes, en route to a life beyond school — with current economic realities. Seeing that public education had been designed decades ago for the needs of a declining industrial economy, Mesquite ISD looked to move past traditional standardized learning and rank ordering. It aimed to help its students become self-determined adults, capable of thriving in a rapidly changing, technologically driven and increasingly gig-based economy. However, doing so would require opening up a unique, data-informed learning pathway for every student.