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Category: Policy

iNACOL Releases Updates to the Snapshot of K-12 Competency Education State Policy Across the United States

June 27, 2019 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on May 30, 2019.

Today, iNACOL released the updated CompetencyWorks map for 2019, a snapshot of K-12 competency education state policy across the United States. The map was last updated in September 2018.

You can download a copy of the map here.

2019 Snapshot of CBE State Policy

We have categorized the states as “Advanced,” “Developing,” “Emerging,” and “Not Yet” on the map to signify whether the state has permissive, enabling, or comprehensive state policy to advance competency-based education.

“Advanced” means that the state has comprehensive policy alignment or has established an active state role to build educator capacity in local school systems for competency education.

“Developing” means that the state has open state policy flexibility for school districts to transition to competency education.

“Emerging” means that there is limited state policy flexibility and, usually, the state requires authorization for school systems to shift to competency-based education.

In the updated map, there are 17 “Advanced” states (in red), 14 “Developing” states, plus the District of Columbia ( in green), and 18 “Emerging” states (in yellow.)

Additionally, the 2019 map removes the shading that formerly designated whether a state was a part of the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Innovative Lab Network (ILN), which is phasing out this year.

Updates to State Categorization

This month, two states have moved up one category on the map, in recognition of new developments in state policy or leadership that create more conducive conditions for competency education. (more…)

You’re Invited: Capital Hill Forum on Competency-Based Education

March 19, 2019 by

US Capitol Building and FlagYou are invited to join iNACOL and the American Youth Policy Forum on Friday, March 22, 2019, for a Capitol Hill forum, Competency-Based Education: Promising Policies and Practices for the Future of K-12 Education.

Educators and school districts across the globe are designing modern approaches to teaching and learning that use competency-based education (CBE) to help every child achieve mastery of knowledge and skills needed for future success in their personal and professional lives.

By bringing together national experts and state and district leaders, this forum will highlight the growth of CBE in state policy, the benefits of CBE, promising practices taking hold around the country, and opportunities for states to align K-12 education with postsecondary education systems and the workforce. The forum will examine federal policy opportunities to advance CBE in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. (more…)

U.S. Department of Education Outlines Guidance for Submitting Amendments to State ESSA Plans

December 8, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on November 27, 2018.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance outlining how states can amend their state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA State Plan amendment process offers an opportunity for continuous improvement of state education systems, toward greater coherence.

According to the guidelines, a state wishing to make an amendment will need to: (more…)

How Can States Transition to Student-Centered Learning?

October 22, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at ExcelinEd’s EdFly blog on August 14, 2018 and has been updated to include links to the first three briefs.

The proliferation of innovative, personalized and mastery-based models in schools, districts and states across the country demonstrates that completely prohibitive policy barriers, thankfully, do not exist. Our work has shown us that most states already have policies in place, (e.g., waivers) that can help schools implement new models—though we have also seen these opportunities remain largely underutilized or misunderstood. (more…)

Capacity in Vermont: If You Build It, They Will Change

March 28, 2018 by

For Vermont, the key to creating a personalized proficiency-based system is capacity building that provides flexible entry points for professionals and opportunities for collaborative learning. As with students, Vermont’s system of support presumes that all educators come from different places and learn in different ways, and that the most powerful learning happens in collaboration.

This coming Spring, Dr. Andrew (Andy) Hargreaves and Allison Zmuda will be leading professional development sessions in Burlington, Vermont in support of implementing the state’s proficiency-based, personalized learning policies — Education Quality Standards (EQS) and Act 77 — with fidelity. Their presentations are sponsored by the Agency of Education’s Vermont Professional Learning Network (VT PLN), in partnership with the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE). There are four interconnected strands to VT PLN work — the Digging Deep series, Vermont Stories, self-paced courses, and Collaborative Learning Groups (CLGs) — each with the goal of strengthening instructional practice and bringing together educators to address opportunities and challenges implementing EQS. (more…)

Multiple Measures Data and Reporting in Vermont and California

March 13, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on February 14, 2018.

In personalized, competency-based education, schools should have far better data to support student learning, provide greater transparency and analyze and continuously improve on their practice through data and reporting with multiple measures. Likewise, states can consider how to present multiple measures of student learning and school quality with advanced data visualization to provide families with rich, easy to understand information.

What States Are Using Multiple Measures for Reporting Data and Continuous Improvement?

This post highlights how Vermont aligns multiple measures to the state’s student-centered learning priorities and to guide continuous improvement. This post also highlights California’s multiple measures dashboard as an example of providing information to different education stakeholders in the state. (more…)

Considerations for Next Generation Accountability System Redesign

March 7, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on February 6, 2018.

The previous blog, Why Next Generation Accountability for Continuous Improvement is Important, explored the need to redesign accountability systems to support all learners based on reciprocal accountability and continuous improvement. This blog will focus on how states can begin to design next generation accountability systems.

As policymakers think long term about accountability redesign, an important first step in the development of a next generation accountability system is to create a clear vision of student success with diverse internal and external stakeholders. A shared vision for student success can clarify the purpose of the state’s K-12 education system and drive coherent policies across the education system to make that vision a reality. One way states can create a shared statewide vision that reflect a new definition of success is through the creation of graduate profiles (Redefining Student Success: Profile of a Graduate). (more…)

Three Big Questions for Evolving State Education Policy to Support Student-Centered Learning in 2018

February 28, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 26, 2018.

With states preparing to implement newly-approved plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there is an opportunity to reflect on some key issues from the field. ESSA provides a historic opportunity for states to transform K-12 education by redefining success, redesigning systems of assessments, rethinking accountability and aligning educator workforce capacity to student-centered learning.

After years of asking for more flexibility and freedom from No Child Left Behind’s restrictive frameworks for accountability, assessment and teacher quality, state and local stakeholders can now approach outdated educational systems differently under ESSA. States could use new flexibility in ESSA to advance equity and improve student outcomes with systems that support student-centered learning. (more…)

Redesigning Systems of Assessments for Student-Centered Learning

February 21, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 24, 2018.

Assessment is essential for understanding what students know and for providing transparency and fairness when it comes to certifying mastery of knowledge and skills. Assessment can provide timely feedback to educators on where students are in their learning and to inform the supports that they need to succeed. It also plays an important role for educational leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of learning models, on achievement and for policymakers to understand the effectiveness of policies and use of public funding. In redesigning systems of assessments, state policymakers should consider what is needed to make assessment more meaningful and integrally-linked to student learning.

The challenge ahead for policymakers is to rethink assessment policies to enable student-centered teaching and learning. This will require creating balanced systems of assessments to: (more…)

U.S. Department of Education Invites State Applications for a New Pilot on Innovative Systems of Assessments

February 14, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on January 8, 2018.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) created an Innovative Assessment Pilot and the much anticipated application was released last week by the United States Department of Education (USED). States can now apply for new flexibility they’ve been seeking to create innovative, next generation models of accountability and systems of assessments (with a smaller subset of districts in the state) since the passage of ESSA in 2015.

Innovative Assessment Pilot (ESSA Section 1204)

On January 3, the U.S. Department of Education released a Federal Register official notice inviting applications from states for the Innovative Accountability and Assessment Demonstration Authority. This is the “Innovative Assessment Pilot” and it is also a new opportunity in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for states to pilot new types of assessments. (more…)

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