National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education

CompetencyWorks is hosting a National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education in Denver, Colorado on June 21-23, 2017. The Summit is invitation-only and will convene 100 leading innovators to move the field of competency-based education through the next generation of ideas and actionable outcomes, with a specific focus on equity and diversity. The Summit will tackle 6 issues: equity, policy, quality, meeting kids where they are, identifying emerging issues and revising the working definition of competency education. Leading up to the Summit, CompetencyWorks designed a participatory process to engage a wider network of experts and ensure we’re tapping into the collective knowledge of the field.


In March 2011, 100 innovators in competency-based education gathered at the first Competency-Based Learning Summit, the initial step toward advancing competency-based systems. Two papers were published to share developments from this Summit:

  1. Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning
  2. It’s Not About Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit

Six years later, competency-based education is advancing across the country as a critical component of creating an education system able to personalize education while staying true to the vision of an equitable education system. As our understanding of competency-based education has grown, so has our understanding of critical issues that must be addressed in order to ensure equity of access and outcomes as well as high quality of implementation.

In response, we are convening the second National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education to draw on the collective leadership, creativity and expertise to chart our course for the next wave of innovation, implementation and expansion.

Thank You to the Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs)

We have invited 100 innovators who collectively will bring substantial diversity to this conversation—racial and ethnic diversity, regional diversity, experience in all levels of the education system, and expertise in implementing competency education as well as related fields. Yet, across the country there are thousands of educators who have expertise in competency education that could make valuable contributions to these conversations. Thus, we have designed a participatory process leading up to the Summit.

As part of this participatory process, we created Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) for each of the following 4 key issues, where we shared a draft document and asked each TAG to share their insights at some point during a one-week virtual session. The field used this opportunity to engage their organizations, schools, professional learning communities and networks in deep conversations around these issues and shared their collective insights. The TAGs are listed below:

  1. Designing for Equity: How should we frame equity and the strategies to improve equity within a personalized, competency-based system?
  2. Developing Policy for the Long-Term: What are the long-term policies and structures needed to support personalized, competency-based districts and schools?
  3. Meeting Students Where They Are (managed by reDesign): As we shift from the traditional system with its focus on delivery of grade-level curriculum within a time-based model designed to sort students, to one that uses a learner-centered approach to ensure every student is reaching proficiency, what do we need to do differently to ensure that we are meeting the needs of students based on where they are?
  4. The Systems and Structures Necessary for Quality Implementation: How should we think about quality that can guide implementation while still allowing for variation of models and innovation?

How the TAG process worked: Each TAG provided insights on the draft document during the assigned one-week virtual session in google docs. CompetencyWorks and partners made real-time changes to the papers based on the shared insights and feedback. These papers helped gather input from a variety of perspectives and will be used to guide conversations at the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education.

During the Summit, attendees will discuss these key issues, collaborate on the field’s challenges, network, and brainstorm solutions and best practices to advance K-12 competency-based education.

After the Summit, CompetencyWorks will distribute the knowledge generated through multiple methods and channels, including the traditional publishing of a paper, social media, blogs and webinars.

Thank you to the following people who dedicated their time and expertise in the TAG process:

  • Natalie Abel
  • Denise Tobin Airola  
  • Amy Allen
  • Sharyl Allen
  • Thomas Arnett
  • Elliott Asp
  • Lexi Barrett
  • Mary Bellavance
  • Jan Bermingham
  • Elaine Berry
  • Mandi Bozarth
  • Kelly Brady
  • Betsy Brand
  • Colleen Broderick
  • Michael Burde
  • Harvey Chism
  • Rose Colby
  • David Cook
  • Carisa Corrow
  • Wesley Daniel
  • Randy DeHoff
  • Emily Dustin
  • John Duval
  • Karla Esparza-Phillips       
  • Theresa Ewald
  • Daniela Fairchild
  • Dawn Ferreyra
  • Julia Freeland Fisher
  • Pat Fitzsimmons
  • Amy Fowler
  • Dan French
  • Dale Frost
  • Cynthia Freyberger
  • Thomas Gaffey
  • Laurie Gagnon
  • Liz Glowa
  • Jim Goodell
  • Brittany Griffin
  • Jill Gurtner
  • Renee Hill
  • Anne Hyslop
  • Ashley Jones
  • Thomas (T.J.) Jumper
  • Ian Kearns
  • Kristen Kelly
  • Michael Klein
  • Jeremy Kraushar
  • Tim Kubik
  • Christine Landwehrle
  • Susan Lanz
  • Steve Lavoie
  • Paul Leather
  • Diana Lebeaux
  • Bethany Little
  • Scott Marion
  • Kathleen McClaskey
  • Christine McMillen
  • Caroline Messenger
  • Gretchen Morgan
  • Mark Muenchau
  • Nikolaus Namba
  • Joy Nolan
  • Ellen Owens
  • Lillian Pace
  • Susan Pecinovsky
  • Shawn Parkhurst
  • Alfonso Paz
  • Ace Parsi
  • Susan Patrick
  • Karla Phillips
  • Alexandra Pritchett
  • Jeff Renard
  • Patrick Riccards
  • Antonia Rudenstein
  • David Ruff
  • Blair Rush
  • Bror Saxberg
  • Aubrey Scheopner Torres
  • Aaryn Schmuhl
  • Matt Shea
  • Don Siviski
  • Bob Sornson
  • Karen Soule
  • Andresse St. Rose
  • Dale Skoreyko
  • Katherine Smith
  • Andrea Stewart
  • Circe Stumbo
  • Vincent Thur
  • Barbara Treacy
  • Dixie Tremblay
  • Nat Truong
  • Jonathan Vander Els
  • Brenda Vogds
  • Glenda Weber
  • Wesley Daniels
  • Karen White
  • SC Whitmore School
  • Mike Wolking
  • Jennifer Wolfe
  • Maria Worthen
  • Margery Yeager
  • Stacy Young
  • Bill Zima


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