Category: Resource

More Schools Going Mastery

July 2, 2015 by
tywls

From the Young Women Leadership Academy Website

The Mastery Collaborative, a program based in New York City’s Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness, announced the eight schools that will be making up the Mastery Collaborative Living Lab for 2015-16. These schools are implementing (or enhancing) a schoolwide mastery system, and as part of the Living Lab will make their classrooms, resources, and expertise available to others interested in mastery-based learning.

The eight schools are:

Bronx Leadership Academy 2 HS (BLA2)

Carroll Gardens School for Innovation (CGSI) (here is a link to my visit)

Frank McCourt HS

Harvest Collegiate HS

NYC iSchool

Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy Int’l HS (KAPPA)

The Young Women’s Leadership School-Astoria (TYWLS-Astoria)

Urban Assembly Maker Academy

(more…)

Summer Reading: Building a System

June 29, 2015 by

Stack of BooksI received a number of emails asking for a recommend reading list for competency education for summer reading. We are all at different levels in our understanding and thinking about competency education, so I’m going to create three summer reading lists (and as always, please add your “must reads” in comments below):

  1. Building the System: For folks who have been working in competency education and want to think more deeply about how we transform the entire system.
  2. What Does Competency Education Look Like?: To provide examples of resources about the ways schools are designing and districts are transforming their systems.
  3. What is Competency Education?: A reading list for newbies who really want to understand what competency education is and what it takes to make the transition.

Below is a beginning reading list (I’m hoping others will suggest some good resources) about how we are advancing and where we need to go. Even trying to put this together made me realize how much our conversations about what is possible are in fact just that—conversations. We may not yet be at the place where we know how all of the pieces will form a competency-based system, but we are certainly ready to start putting our ideas together and sketching out what might be possible.

FYI: At the end of this post, I’ve listed a number of big questions that we don’t have a lot written on yet. Obviously this is an open invitation to anyone who wants to tackle organizing some ideas so we can engage in shaping our future together. Also, if you have recommended reading that captures some of the big ideas that will be forming the new competency-based system, please pass this on.

Accountability

(more…)

How Often Do We Have Bob Crumley, Virgel Hammonds, and Derek Hamilton all Together?

June 22, 2015 by
Bob Crumley

Bob Crumley

That’s what is happening on June 25th at 2 pm ET. Join us for the CompetencyWorks webinar on Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders, featuring Robert Crumley, Superintendent, Chugach School District, Alaska; Virgel Hammonds, Superintendent RSU2 Maine; and Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations, Pittsfield School District, New Hampshire.

You might want to read up on the districts before the call. On CompetencyWorks, you can find  an eight part series on Chugach, a four part series on Pittsfield, and a conversation with Hammonds about leadership. You can also find a case study on RSU 2 in Springpoint’s paper, Inside Mastery Based High Schools: Profiles and Conversations.

Each one of these districts could do a three-day training on their implementation strategies, there is so much to learn from each of them. As always, we’ll be discussing key issues and answering questions in the chat room as well as directly with the presenters.

Register here. See you there.

What’s New in K-12 Competency Education?

June 18, 2015 by

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CompetencyWorks and iNACOL released Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders in early June. Chris Sturgis and Susan Patrick are hosting a webinar to discuss the report’s findings on June 25, 2015 from 2:00-3:00pm ET. Register here.

In case you missed iNACOL’s June 10 webinar, where Chris Sturgis and Susan Patrick discuss the Maximizing Competency Education and Blended Learning report, you can view the archived webinar here.

News

  • Featuring Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL, this article explores the limitations of the traditional education system, as well as policy barriers that prevent the implementation of innovative, competency-based learning infrastructures.
  • The Maine Chamber of Commerce is in support of Maine’s proficiency-based education policy, citing rising graduation rates five years in a row. (Read more.) (more…)

June 25: Chugach, RSU2, and Pittsfield

June 16, 2015 by

Stages of ImplementationWe are pleased to tell you that the CompetencyWorks webinar on Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders will feature Robert Crumley, Superintendent, Chugach School District, Alaska; Virgel Hammonds, Superintendent RSU2 Maine (and soon to be joining KnowledgeWorks); and Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations, Pittsfield School District, New Hampshire.

Each one of these districts could do a three-day training on their implementation strategies, there is so much to learn from each of them. As always, we’ll be discussing key issues and answering questions in the chat room as well as directly with the presenters.

The webinar is June 25, 2-3 ET.  Register here. See you there.

New Release – Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders

June 3, 2015 by

ReportCover-ImplementingCBEinK12SystemsToday, CompetencyWorks released Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders. It is a comprehensive look at how districts across the country from Alaska to Maine have been transforming their districts from the time-based system to one that puts students and their learning in the center of all decisions.

The paper is based on conversations with educators during the past four years about how they are managing the transformation. Throughout the paper you will hear directly from district leaders as they reflect on the transformational process and their lessons learned.

Each week, additional districts begin to explore competency education and what it would take to design their systems to be more personalized so students get the support they need to be successful. In order to make it easier for you to use the paper as a discussion tool, CompetencyWorks has created excerpts for each of the four stages: 1) Ramping Up for Transformation 2) Designing the Infrastructure for Learning 3) Transitioning to a Competency-Based System and 4) Embracing Continuous Improvement and Innovation.

Please join us on June 25th at 2 pm ET for a webinar on Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems. Register here.

Competency-Based Education Approaches in K-12 Schools, Part One

June 1, 2015 by
Stefanie Blouin

Stefanie Blouin

This post originally appeared at Next Generation Learning Challenges on May 26, 2015.

Competency-based education (CBE) isn’t just gaining ground in higher ed: a number of K-12 educators from across the country are now embracing the approach—with promising results.

In this first post of a two-part series, you’ll learn how educators from Philadelphia’s Building 21 share some of their best CBE resources. Below is a round up of tools and resources focused on competency-based education to help practitioners personalize learning for students.

But First, Get A Student’s Take on CBE
Listen to Nico, a student from E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., talk about how competency-based education has helped engage him as a learner: (more…)

Credibility Starts with Consistency with Common Assessments

May 26, 2015 by

Screenshot 2015-05-26 08.55.53The more I think about what the key elements of a competency system might be — those elements that if they working perfectly allow the system to weaken or be corrupted — the more I focus on ensuring that the system is calibrated or tuned. When a district or school puts that a student is proficient on the transcript then we need to have absolute trust that their is an agreement on what that means and that the next school or college will have a pretty darn close understanding of proficiency as well. Basically, we want our system to be credible and trusthworthy. That’s what accountability is all about.

And that’s why we need to do everything we can to build in this capacity into our districts and schools as fast as we can.  Our traditional system doesn’t expect this nor does it have the mechanisms in place to make it happen. That’s why we’ve had to turn to NAEP and state accountability assessments to tell us how we are doing helping our kids to learn.

And that’s why the webinar Ensuring Consistency When Using Common Assessments sponsored by Great Schools Partnership is so important. It’s tommorow, Wednesday May 27 from 3-4 EST.

Here’s the description: Ensuring consistency when using common assessments requires collaboration with colleagues to calibrate scoring, refine assessment tasks and scoring criteria, and collectively reflect on the results. This process ensures that there is a constant practice of evaluation and refining scoring criteria and assessment tasks and the instruction practices leading up to this. Ultimately, having more trustworthy judgments enables teachers to better align instructional strategies to student needs, provide more consistent feedback to students, and create opportunities  for deeper learning. In this webinar, we will present protocols and processes to create a system that supports teachers in the process of making consistent judgments on the quality of students’ work.

Presenters
Jon Ingram, Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership
David Ruff, Executive Director, Great Schools Partnership
Becky Wilusz, Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership

FYI — it’s free but registration is limited.

What’s New in K-12 Competency Education?

May 21, 2015 by

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Achieve released a new paper titled Assessment to Support Competency-Based Pathways which addresses the role of summative assessment, clarifies key assessment challenges, and provides examples and recommendations that are useful to those who wish to design and implement assessment systems to support competency-based pathways.

Additionally, Springpoint is sharing a new set of resources, “Inside Mastery Based High Schools: Profiles and Conversations.” These resources — which include profiles, artifacts, and interview transcripts with school leaders — are drawn from visits to six competency-based high schools last year. Together, they provide a vivid picture of what competency-based learning looks like in a variety of contexts.

Springpoint began this project to address a need for concrete examples of competency-based learning in practice. Given the novelty of this work, they realized that many new school designers know the theory behind competency-based learning but would benefit from a deeper an understanding of its day-to-day practicalities.

They visited the following six schools: (more…)

Summertime Learning Opportunities

May 19, 2015 by

SummerAre you starting to think about how you might use your summer? Vacation? Summer camps for your kids? Creating a summertime learning plan with a list of books to read?

There are also four professional development opportunities available that might help you think more deeply about how you can transform your district and school to a competency-based model.

  • Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire is offering a Competency Education Design Studio on July 22 -24. This is a new learning opportunity that’s never been offered before. The facilitators include Rose Colby, Competency Education Specialist; Dr. Brian Blake, Superintendent of Schools; and Ellen Hume-Howard, Director of Curriculum. You’ll hear from district staff including Ann Hadwen, Donna Johnson, Sandy Rutherford, Brian M. Stack, Michael Turmelle, Jonathan Vander Els, and Ann Rutherford. Mariane Gfroerer, Supervisor NH Performance Assessment, and Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner New Hampshire Department of Education will be there as well.  For more information, email Ellen Hume Howard at ehumehoward(at)sau17(dot)org.

If you go to one of these trainings, we’d love to hear about your three to five big takeaways! And if you know of other great summer learning opportunities, please let us know.

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