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Aurora Institute

Learning from the Cutting Edge

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Susan Patrick

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Design for Educational Equity, State Policy, Base Learning on Mastery, not Seat Time, Create Enabling Conditions for Competency-Based Education, Issues in Practice, Lead Change and Innovation


Over the last two years, I have been on a journey to try to make right what I think is one of the biggest policy issues driving inequity in the United States – the K-12 education system which is driven by seattime.  This journey is to re-design K-12 education around student learning and mastery.

The policies around seat-time limit how and when a student can learn, allow students to move to the next grade level with huge gaps in their learning, and limit extended learning opportunities. Why should it matter whether a student learns in school, out of school, online, in the girl scouts or at a museum? What should matter is that teachers are involved in assessing students’ mastery of learning at advanced levels. So, rather than measuring how empty the “bucket” of knowledge is – let’s work on filling the bucket with world-class knowledge and skills to empower kids from all backgrounds for a lifetime of success. Competency education, not seat time, is a critical design requirement to enable next generation learning environments…

(Read more on the CompetencyWorks website HERE)


Author(s)

Susan Patrick

President & Chief Executive Officer

All blog posts from Susan Patrick