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Aurora Institute

Changes at CompetencyWorks

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

Chris Sturgis

Oh, I have such mixed feelings. I’ll be leaving CompetencyWorks at the end of December and my emotions are all atwitter.

I’m thrilled with how the field of competency education has advanced over the past eight years and how much we have learned. I’m proud of what CompetencyWorks and the incredible network of leaders from districts and schools across the country have accomplished. I’m excited for the next stage of work to modernize schools. And I’m a bit heartbroken about leaving CompetencyWorks.

However, I’m not leaving our work. You can find me at LearningEdge. I know I’ll keep learning and writing. I’ll continue to collaborate with those of you leading the field. And I’ll be consulting and seeking opportunities to integrate knowledge about how to modernize schools so we can make it easier and easier for education leaders to understand and implement high quality models.

What’s Going to Happen to CompetencyWorks?

CompetencyWorks will continue. Although the field is over 40 organizations supporting policymakers, districts, and schools on competency education, there are definitely aspects of competency education that still need focused and sustained attention. The quality challenge needs attention until we are confident that we know what effective systems and practice looks like. Additionally, we need to build the systemic capacity to generate reliability through moderation practices and clarify the instructional strategies that are most effective in generating robust and accelerated learning for students that have gaps. Oh, yeah, don’t forget: we still have to take the ceiling off learning so that students can soar above and beyond grade level.

Eliot Levine has joined iNACOL as the new research director, including responsibility for managing CompetencyWorks. You might know him as the author of One Kid at a Time: Big Lessons from a Small School that helped lift the Met and Big Picture to international attention. Or you might have seen some of the research he has done in his role as Senior Research Manager at UMass Donahue Institute. Levine will bring new perspectives and new insights to CompetencyWorks. If you are interested in contributing articles in 2019 and beyond, you can reach him at [email protected].

Stay tuned! In January you can find a blog series by Katherine Casey on professional learning.

Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart

In closing, I want to thank Susan Patrick, who has been a phenomenally wonderful collaborator, the hard-working iNACOL team, and the dedicated CompetencyWorks advisory board that has guided us so well over the past.

I also want to thank everyone who has opened their schools, taken the time to respond to my zillions of queries, and been so committed to advancing competency education that they have pointed out misunderstandings or offered other perspectives. My last eight years has been filled with the pure delight of learning and the pure joy of rich, heart-filled relationships developed around a shared vision and common purpose. I know the learning won’t stop and neither will the relationships. I look forward to what we will discover and learn from each other in 2019 and beyond.