The Results are In!

August 28, 2012 by

Time is the Variable. From Adams 50 web

We have all been watching and learning from Adams County School District 50 (Adams 50).  This district, on the outskirts of Denver, embraced competency education with early support of the Reinventing Schools Coalition (the folks who led the way in Chugach, Alaska). They have been staying the course, even with changes in district leadership. They have been staying the course even when they weren’t seeing positive indicators.

And it is paying off — According to the article in the Denver Post, Francis Day Elementary school jumped two levels from turnaround status to performance status. Other positive indicators are that enrollment in the district has started climbing back up and there was no principal turnover this year. 

So let’s all say a big congratulations to all the educators and families at Adams 50 for staying the course and leading the way. They also share what they know with a website explaining their competency-based system and a great wiki. Adams 50 you rock!

If you know of other examples of positive indicators or all around results, please let us know.  We are weak on proof points as we are in such an early stage of implementation across the country.




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  1. Comment by Chris Sturgis 5:21 pm, August 28, 2012

    I was just emailed a question — what are other results are out there we can refer to as proof points.

    Here are the results of a study in 2010 by Marzano Research Laboratory on schools in the Reinventing Schools Coalition network. MRL found that the RISC framework significantly impacts student achievement. Researchers compared 7 RISC districts and 8 Non-RISC districts in 3 states. Study findings:

    –The odds of a student in a RISC School scoring proficient or above on state tests are 2.3 times greater for reading, 2.5 times greater for writing, and 2.4 times greater for mathematics than the odds of a student scoring proficient or above on state tests at a Non-RISC School.
    –Compared to students in Non-RISC Schools, students in RISC Schools are 37% more likely to score proficient or above on state tests for reading, 54% more likely to score proficient or above on state tests for writing, and 55% more likely to score proficient or above on state tests for mathematics.
    –In addition, the degree of RISC model implementation was found to relate to the number of students scoring proficient or above on state tests in reading and writing. The odds of a student in a High-RISC School scoring proficient or above in reading and writing were found to be about two times larger than the odds of a student in a Medium-RISC School scoring proficient or above.

  2. Comment by Chris Sturgis 3:59 pm, September 24, 2012

    The Reinventing Schools Coalition (RISC) provides training and support for the transformation to a competency-based system. This is a school-wide (or district-wide) approach rather than a specific approach to one academic discipline or another.

    My understanding is that science translates relatively easily to a competency-based approach as it is relatively easy to identify the habits of mind (what does it mean to think and act as a scientist) as well as organize scientific knowledge into competencies. I’ll see if I can find someone to write about their experience in teaching science through a competency education framework.

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