Free Resources to Grow the Conversation

Students and parents are critical partners when it comes to redefining student success. As companions to the book, here are resources ready for you to share with your community.

The Parent's Guide to 21st Century Learning, available in English and Spanish, includes practical information to help parents support their children's development of success skills. 

Success skills poster brings six key competencies into focus, enabling students to assess their progress as 21st century learners. 

The Student's Guide to 21st Century Learning, available in English and Spanish, includes practical suggestions to help students build their competencies and meet their goals.

These free resources, developed with the help of student and parent focus groups, were supported by a grant from the EDU21C Foundation. Special thanks to artist Rachel Brian for bringing our vision to life. To print these resources as booklets on 11 x 17 paper, use these pdfs: Student Guide Print, Student Guide Spanish Print, Parent Guide Print, Parent Guide Spanish Print

About the Book

Are your students developing the skills and knowledge they need to reach their goals?

Or are they still waiting for schools to catch up with the demands of the 21st century?

Redefining Student Success provides you with tools, strategies, and inspiration to accelerate the transformation of your school system so that all students are ready for the future they want to pursue. Insights from education leaders who are at different places on this journey will show you what’s possible.

Co-authors Ken Kay and Suzie Boss, longtime advocates of 21st century learning, interviewed more than 250 education leaders, teachers, students, parents, and other community members to gather practical advice and compelling examples of reimagined learning. You will hear how leaders across diverse contexts are engaging their communities to create a bold vision and then backwards planning to align instruction, assessment, and professional learning with shared goals.

Tony Wagner, education expert and author of The Global Achievement Gap, offers this advice in his foreword to Redefining Student Success: “Read it, study it with your colleagues, discuss it with your students’ families, and act as if our children’s and our country’s futures depend on your bold leadership—because they do.”

Praise for Redefining Student Success


Association for Career and Technical Education

December 1–4, 2021
Ken is presenting at CareerTech VISION 2021 in New Orleans, LA.


ASCD Leadership Summit

January 19-21, 2022
Join us for a virtual session, "Give the Green Light for Creative Problem Solving."


AASA National Conference on Education

February 17-19, 2022
Join Ken for a session in Nashville, TN, on "Redefining Student Success: A Powerful Strategy for District Superintendents," in collaboration with two superintendents.


Deeper Learning 2022

March 31, 2022
Join Ken and Suzie at this annual event in San Diego, CA.


National School Boards Association

April 1-4, 2022
On April 1 in San Diego, Ken and Suzie facilitate a pre-conference workshop, "Redefining Student Success" (book included with registration). Later in the conference, they lead a breakout session, "How to Talk to Your Community About Achievement and Accountability."


What School Could Be

To launch our book, we facilitated a three-part book study with this global community. Recordings are archived and ready to use for your own professional learning. Join here, and then look for the Redefining Student Success group for recordings and resources.


Jeff Rose, vice president of leadership development at Cognia, hosted us for a lively Leader Chat discussion. 

At Deeper Learning 2022, Dr. Michelle Pledger of High Tech High Graduate School of Education interviewed us for a Den Talk.

Tom VanderArk at Getting Smart sat down to talk with us about Redefining Student Success in this recent podcast. Take a listen.

Thanks to Edutopia for publishing an excerpt from Redefining Student Success. More here.

We had a terrific conversation with Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner as part of What School Could Be's Game Changer series. Watch here.

Thanks to Karen Garza, CEO of Battelle for Kids, for hosting us to talk about Redefining Student Success. Listen to the podcast here.

About the Authors

Ken Kay

Ken Kay is one of the founders of the 21st century education movement.  He served as Chief Executive Office of EdLeader21, a professional learning community for education leaders committed to 21stcentury education. Prior to EdLeader21, he was the founding President of the Partnership for 21stCentury Skills. He also served as Executive Director for the CEO Forum on Education and Technology. Along with Valerie Greenhill, Ken wrote A Leader’s Guide to 21st Century Education: 7 Steps for Schools and Districts. For nearly a decade, Ken was a member of the board of PBLWorks (formerly the Buck Institute for Education).  He is a graduate of Oberlin College and the University of Denver College of Law. Active on social media (@kenkay21), he maintains a website at where he explains his ongoing role as “education provocateur”.

Suzie Boss

Suzie Boss is a writer and educational consultant who focuses on the power of teaching and learning to improve lives and transform communities. She is the author of 10 popular books for educators, most recently Project Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences and Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, 3rd Ed. She collaborated with award-winning teacher Stephen Ritz to tell his inspiring story about classroom innovation in The Power of a Plant. A regular contributor to Edutopia, PBLWorks National Faculty emeritus, and frequent conference presenter, she consults with schools and nonprofit organizations around the world interested in shifting to a more student-centered, innovative approach to teaching and learning. Active on social media (@suzieboss), she maintains a website at

Let’s connect!

Ken Kay and Suzie Boss are available to support your school system’s transformation with keynotes; presentations to staff, parents and community members; and professional development to help your team design creative problem-solving experiences for your students. Please tell us more about your context.

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