CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to providing information and knowledge about competency education in the K-12 education system. Drawing on lessons learned by innovators and early adopters, CompetencyWorks shares original research, knowledge and a variety of perspectives through an informative blog with practitioner knowledge, policy advancements, papers on emerging issues and a wiki with resources curated from across the field. CompetencyWorks also offers a blog on competency education in higher education so that the sectors can learn from each other and begin to align systems across K-12, higher education and the workplace.

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Finding Synergy at Kuna Middle School

July 17, 2018 by

This is the second post in a series on Mastery Education in Idaho. Links to the other articles in the series can be found below.

Once in a while, I walk into a “classroom” and freeze. It is so hard to orient myself because there is so little that looks like the traditional school with the teacher in front, students at desks, and tables waiting for direction. I slowed down as we walked through the cafeteria at Kuna Middle School, where fifteen or so students were spread out in groups, talking with a teacher, working on their devices, or reading. And froze when I walked into the large room at Synergy, where fifty or so students were lounging on couches, huddled on the floor, or seated at large tables. Wonderful sayings aimed at the adolescent were painted everywhere you looked on the walls: (more…)

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Mastery-Based Learning in Idaho

July 16, 2018 by

This is the first post in a series on Mastery Education in Idaho. 

In April 2018, I went on a whirlwind tour of seven schools in four districts in Idaho in an effort to understand how mastery-based learning was advancing there. Idaho is a big, beautiful state with several different geographical regions. My site visits were all within the large river valley extending from Boise, land that was originally of the Shoshone and Bannock people. The districts we visited were all transforming their schools to mastery-based learning while their communities were shifting from an agricultural area into an extended metropolitan area. (more…)

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Summer Reading on Competency-Based Education

July 11, 2018 by

Is it summer yet? It feels like the rate of districts turning to competency-based education is increasing (I just returned from a meeting in Michigan where I learned of at least eight districts advancing toward a competency-based system), and certainly our rate of learning is. Although I actually hope that everyone disconnect for a few weeks during the summer and not think about competency education, I did promise to provide an updated summer reading list. I’ve organized the list into categories: learning sciences; for newbies seeking to understand what competency education is; building commitment; preparing for implementation; and thinking ahead on the issues and challenges in the field of competency-based education. (more…)

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What if… We Had Graduate Profiles for Elementary and Middle School?

July 10, 2018 by

There is more and more attention to the development of high school graduate profiles at the district and state level, which are providing a much more well-rounded idea of what we want for students upon graduation beyond a number of credits. These profiles, such as the one from South Carolina highlighted here, include academic knowledge and a range of different skills. At CompetencyWorks, we think of them in three buckets: academic knowledge; transferable skills needed to apply academic knowledge; and lifelong learning skills that include those important building blocks of learning such as self-regulation, metacognition, growth mindset, and perseverance. (See Levers and Logic Models page 16.)

But how are those graduate profiles being translated into middle and elementary schools? How do we know that students are progressing in ways and at a pace that results in their meeting career and college ready? (more…)

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Webinar on Equity in Competency Education

July 9, 2018 by

We are facing a substantial challenge in ensuring that we are implementing effective competency-based strategies. Join CompetencyWorks on July 18 2-3 ET for a discussion about Designing for Equity: Leveraging Competency-Based Education to Ensure All Students Succeed. Learn about design principles to pay attention to and red flags that there may be a problem in implementation. Register here.

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Educator-Only Leadership Forum on Competency Education

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Yes we are just making our way into summer. But it’s not too soon to think about making travel plans to the iNACOL Symposium October 21-24 in Nashville. The competency-based education strand of workshops is very strong – so it’s a great place for people wanting to learn more and for those who have been doing the work to meet other colleagues across the country.

We wanted to let you know that on the morning of October 21, there will be an educator-only Leadership Forum on Competency Education. It’s for people who have been implementing competency education for one year or more to share their insights, get help from others to solve problems, and push all of our thinking toward developing high-quality competency-based systems. That means you’ll have to fly in on the 20th. See you there.

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ACT, Leader in Measurement, Shifts Focus to Student Success

July 3, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at Getting Smart on June 19, 2018.

For nearly 60 years, the ACT test has played an essential part in higher education admissions and scholarship decisions. For the last three years, the nonprofit developer of the ACT test has been expanding beyond traditional measurement to new and broader ways to promote education and workplace success. (more…)

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What’s Happening with Competency-Based Transcripts and Rethinking College Admissions in the United States

July 2, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on June 11, 2018.

What are competency-based transcripts, and why are they important?

The New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) explains the main issue: “For more than a century, American high school students have earned ‘credits’ for passing courses. When they accumulate enough credits, they receive a diploma. The problem with this approach is that credits do not always equal competency.”

Competency-based transcripts provide colleges and universities with comprehensive information on a high school student’s knowledge, skills and performance upon graduation. They communicate what a student knows and can do in the transition from secondary to postsecondary systems of education based on actual mastery and offer a comprehensive record of achievement in a competency-based learning model. (more…)

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June 2018 CompetencyWorks Catch-Up

July 1, 2018 by

Here are the highlights from June 2018 on CompetencyWorks. Happy reading. And let us know if you have questions you want us to delve into!

CASE STUDIES AND SITE VISITS

Da Vinci Schools (CA)

 

(more…)

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Helpful Tools for Providing Effective Competency-Based Education

June 27, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at Getting Smart on June 18, 2018.

We’ve been looking into what schools, districts, networks, and impact organizations are doing to accelerate progress toward an effective CBE system, and in July we will release a full publication highlighting our research and analysis. In the meantime, we have assembled a series of initial lists of positive examples. (more…)

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