Futurecast Special Report

The Future of the Portrait
of a Graduate

At Battelle for Kids, we have had the distinct honor of supporting the creation and implementation of collective visions for communities nationwide. We are proud to release this special Futurecast report with insights from a decade of facilitating the creation of these collective community visions, thought leadership from education leaders from around the nation, original and curated research, and a call-to-action to join the Portrait of a Graduate movement as we work to prepare future-ready students for a rapidly changing, complex world.


Portrait of a Graduate: A Decade of Transforming Education

Now Available On-Demand

We partnered with Education Week on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, to host a nationwide webinar about our new report. Battelle for Kids President and CEO Mike Duncan, Ed.D., moderated the conversation with national education leaders:

  • Bob Nelson, Ed.D., Superintendent/Advisor, Fresno Unified School District, CA
  • Catherine Truitt, State Superintendent, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Colon Lewis, Ed.D., Chief Learning Officer, Battelle for Kids

Join the Movement


Want to stay involved and be part of our collective work? Continued engagement ensures that the Portrait of a Graduate’s impact grows, evolves, and remains responsive to the ever-changing landscape of education and the workforce. This is a commitment to shared learning, support, and advocacy.

Your insights, experiences, and contributions matter and are critical to shaping the ongoing development and refinement of the Portrait of a Graduate and the Portrait to Practice. This is an open invitation to influence the direction and impact of this work.

A Catalyst for Transformation

School districts from coast to coast have embraced this work to identify the skills, mindsets, and competencies their students need for success in this rapidly changing, complex world.

As we look back on the movement set in motion through the development of these local and statewide visions, we must also prepare for the ever-changing education and workforce landscape. This special report looks back at the roots of the Portrait of a Graduate movement and stories of impact nationwide. Then, it moves into the landscape shifts developing rapidly in the PK-12 education, the workforce, and the overall state of the American dream.

We provide insights from school districts throughout the country and provide examples of how to bring the Portrait to life through integration into the learning experiences of students.

Report Contributors


Mike Duncan, Ed.D.

President & CEO, Battelle for Kids

Valerie Greenhill

Co-Founder, EdLeader21 Network

Jessica Harding

Senior Director, Battelle for Kids

Misty Her

Interim Superintendent, Fresno USD

Shannon King, Ph.D.

Chief Learning Officer, Battelle for Kids

Colon Lewis, Ed.D.

Chief Learning Officer, Battelle for Kids

David Schuler, Ed.D.

Executive Director, AASA

Beth Silveira

Senior Director, Battelle for Kids

Tim Taylor

Co-Founder & President, America Succeeds

Catherine Truitt

State Superintendent, North Carolina

What's Inside the Report?

A Look Back: What We've Learned

With insights from Battelle for Kids Vice President Valerie Greenhill, the report opens with a look back on the early beginnings of the Portrait of a Graduate, how it grew, and when it became a national movement. We also look at the common Portrait durable skills that have risen from community voices all over the country and take a look at the lessons learned along the way.

Stories of the Portrait

The acceleration of this work spread through a community of school systems throughout the nation focused on advancing the power and promise of future-ready, deeper learning for every student. This section of the report highlights not only the many Portrait of a Graduate poster designs but also digs deeper into the stories of implementation in school districts in every region of the country.

Portrait to Practice

The Portrait is just the beginning. It’s the implementation where the commitment to transformation comes into play. Here, Battelle for Kids Chief Learning Officer Shannon King, Ph.D., shares insights into the work she helps lead in school districts throughout the country. Ideas and examples are also shared about how districts can create a roadmap to help scale and sustain this work for every student.

Shifting Landscapes

The world is rapidly changing in all facets of society, including education and the world of work. We curate research from reputable sources to provide a state of affairs in PK-12 education and the workforce while also sharing original insights from EdLeader21 Network members into the impact of this Portrait work on the school district, community, student learning, and instruction.

What's Next?

What is the future of the Portrait of a Graduate? With thought leadership contributions from AASA’s Dave Schuler, Ed.D., and America Succeeds Co-Founder and President Tim Taylor, this section will dive into envisioning a future landscape for education and provide insights into durable skills. North Carolina State Superintendent Catherine Truitt also shares the meaningful work her state has done to align education with the workforce through their statewide Portrait of a Graduate.

Insights from the Field

The report shares the thoughts from education leaders from throughout the nation in response to a survey deployed to EdLeader21 Network members. Insights are also shared by Battelle for Kids Senior Directors Jessica King and Beth Silveira, respectively, who both spend time in community’s nationwide facilitating the development of Portraits and strategic plans.

Portrait of a Graduate Gallery

Locally developed and globally positioned, a school system’s Portrait of a Graduate is developed with the community to identify the durable skills students need for success in this rapidly changing, complex world.

Battelle for Kids has helped hundreds of school districts worldwide engage their communities to develop their collective vision, which serves as the North Star for successfully guiding all students into a successful future. Visit our Portrait of a Graduate Gallery to view many of these district visions.

View the Gallery