To better understand competency education, enabling policy and effective implementation, start with the following resources. You can find additional resources by accessing the Competency Works wiki.
Understanding Competency Education
- Delivering on the Promise
This book explores the journey of the Chugach School District, serving 214 students over 20,000 square miles in Alaska, as it began a fundamental redesign of how they would educate their students. With the courage to confront the fact that 90 percent of their students could not read at grade level and only one student in 26 years had graduate from college, Chugach focused their mission on ensuring that all students learn to high standards. The district engaged the community in establishing a performance-based approach, developing standards in ten content areas, new assessments, and modified reporting mechanisms. Chugach’s transformation gained them national attention, including the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for organizational excellence.
- A New Model of Student Assessment for the 21st Century
This case study of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School in Chicago shows how a low performing school became focused on graduation and college readiness and put its students on a track of success. Read about how YWLCS challenged the status quo, and discover how schools can improve secondary education by rethinking the way student achievement is structured.
- Success is the Only Option:Designing Competency-based Pathways for Next Generation Learning
Read about interviews and site visits with innovators to learn about how competency-based pathways re-engineer our education system. This reading discusses the driving forces behind competency education and what stakeholders face as they try to implement policy regarding competency.
- It’s Not A Matter of Time — Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit
Learn about important topics from the 2011 Competency Based Learning Summit, such as what competency education is, how to get started, the challenges in implementing competency education, and how to personalize the process for your students.
- Students at the Center
Find great issue briefs summarizing research on topics such as Personalization in School; Mind, Brain, and Education; and Motivation, Engagement, and Student Voice. You can also find videos and resources.
- Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning by Charles Schwahn and Beatrice McGarvey
This book explores approaches to personalizing and customizing learning. The authors guide readers in revisiting the assumptions of the traditional system and redirecting resources to students based on their personal learning trajectories.
- Off the Clock: Moving Education from Time to Competency by Fred Bramante and Rose Colby
This book provides an in-depth look at New Hampshire’s journey towards a competency-based system. The authors provide personal reflections as well as detailed descriptions of the policy changes, stakeholder engagement, and implementation decisions.
- State Strategies for Awarding Credit to Support Student Learning published by the National Governor’s Association
This article gives readers a brief overview of how the current system negatively impacts student learning, and how state policy plays a crucial role in competency education, with examples of the policies in different states.
- Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning
This reading discusses the very important issue of turning state policy into successful practice. It addresses the need to have more flexible policies in order to create better practices in schools.
- It’s About Time—A Framework for Proficiency-based Teaching and Learning by Diane Smith for the Business Education Compact
This workbook draws from the lessons learned in schools across Oregon that implemented proficiency-based strategies in their classrooms. The framework described in this workbook defines the critical elements of proficiency-based teaching and learning through a series of teacher and student rubrics.
- Art and Science of Designing Competencies
Learn about how to design and create competencies in a classroom, as well how to create the environment teachers need in order to implement these competencies successfully.
District and School Transformation
- Case Studies of Three Districts in Maine
Learn about how school districts, teachers and communities have explored the potential for customized and competency-based education. The Maine Department of Education have made a series of videos and case studies available to hep other districts prepare for their reform process.
- Assessing Learning
This article provides a great overview of different student-centered assessments that make students feel more engaged in their education. Teachers will find new ideas and resources to use in their classrooms, such as creating portfolios and using different online technology. This is an important read for schools looking for ways to vary and gain more knowledge from their assessments.
Management Information Systems
- Innosight Institute on Western Governor’s University
This Competency Works blog post discusses the excellent management systems Western Governor’s University uses to test and track the competencies of their students.