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Update on Iowa

July 24, 2012 by

Iowa is advancing towards competency education. In a memo released July 16, 2012, Jason Glass, Director of the Iowa Department of Education outlined the statutory changes affecting schools based on the 2012 legislative session.

It leads with a discussion on SF 2284 on Competency-Based Instruction.

The State Board of Education will be adopting rules to allow a school district or accredited nonpublic school to award credit toward graduation based upon demonstrated competencies rather than “seat time.” The school will determine the assessment methods used to demonstrate competencies. There will be no need to request a waiver from the Department.

The Department will appoint a task force to conduct a study regarding competency-based instruction. The person representing the Area Education Agencies will convene the initial meeting of the task force. A preliminary report is due on January 15, 2013. That preliminary report will include, at a minimum, the following items:

  • Personal learning plans and templates.
  • Ways to empower learning through technology.
  • Professional development for educators to transition to a competency- based system.

The final report of the task force is due November 15, 2013. It will include, at a minimum, the following items:

  • The redefinition of the Carnegie Unit into competencies.
  • Student-centered accountability and assessment models.

Stay tuned as Iowa Competency-Based Instruction Task Force gets going.  I’m sure it will provide all of us with another opportunity to think deeply about the implications of competency education in state policy.  FYI — You can also find out more about what is going on in Iowa regarding competency education at the Forum on Competency-based Education website.

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  1. Comment by Paul Leather 10:32 am, July 24, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this, Chris! Congratulations to Jason Glass, Sandra Dop, Circe Stumbo, and all the Iowans continuing on this adventure into competency education. Iowa is particularly well positioned to make this change given the tremendous investments over recent years in authentic assessment and teaching practices. I look forward to their rising contributions to the field! Paul

  2. Comment by Sandra Dop 2:53 pm, July 24, 2012

    Thanks for sharing, Chris, and for the encouragement, Paul.

    Jeff Herzberg, AEA 8 Chief Administrator, and I will launch this phase of the work July 30 as we reconvene our task force from last year. We have invited Rose Colby to participate by Skype, so you see, Paul, we are riding on your coat tails. We so appreciate the collaboration and connections with Oregon, Alaska, New Hampshire, Colorado and iNACOL. This is bigger than all of us, but together we can turn this ship! Sandra

  3. Comment by Chris Sturgis 5:24 pm, July 27, 2012

    Here is the list of task force members

  4. Comment by Rose Colby 1:31 pm, August 6, 2012

    I agree that collaboration across state lines is important to this work. The foundational work in Iowa and its commit,ent to move competency education forward is exemplary.

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