How is a district that wants to start re-designing around competency education going to learn about what it is, how to do it, and implementation strategies? The best way is to learn from other districts. And the best way to find others is through networks.
There are several networks in place already…although it is likely we need a few more in anticipation of increased districts in each state beginning the journey. Below is a list of networks we know about. Please let us know if there are others that should be added to the list.
- Reinventing Schools Coalition is a network of schools. They are all developing around the RISC model.
- Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools has started a network of districts that have already begun to implement blended learning, and that now want to build the competency-based structure.
- The iNACOL Symposium has a strand on competency education. It’s not an organized network ….but its probably the best place to find and meet others working on competency education.
- Great Schools Partnership and its affiliated networks New England Secondary Schools Consortium and League of Innovative Schools can be very helpful in networking within NE.
- Maine Cohort for Customized Learning is a network of districts that have been working together for about five years.
State education agencies can play a vital role in helping to create regional networks. For example, Colorado Department of Education is organizing cohorts of networks to learn from other districts and each other. Once districts are in a network, it’s easy to imagine starting to bring networks of networks together.
If you can’t join a network, there are a few opportunities for training, including Marzano Research Labs/RISC and the competency education design studio that Sanborn Regional School District is offering this summer, or organized site visits to Lindsay Unified. Of course you can also read posts at CompetencyWorks by our contributing leaders: Brian Stack, Jonathan Vander Els, and Bill Zima. Or read about districts such as Sanborn, RSU 2, Pittsfield, and Chugach.
On my wish list – a really well-developed network of districts and schools that have already implemented competency education over several years to begin to look across models to start to talk about strategies that are working, discuss quality implementation, and tackle some of the big issues as well as build out our knowledge bank.