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Aurora Institute

How to Participate in the Equity Technical Advisory Group

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

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

equityAs announced yesterday, CompetencyWorks will be holding a National Summit on Competency-Based Education in June to convene 100 leaders representing a range of perspective, geography, expertise, and racial/ethnic diversity. Yet, across the country there are thousands of leaders and educators who have expertise in competency education who could make valuable contributions to these conversations. Thus, we have designed Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs for short) that will create a participatory process leading up to the Summit to draw on your knowledge and ideas.

The first TAG is coming up soon: We will be focusing on equity from January 30 – February 3, 2017. In the Equity TAG (E-TAG) we will be exploring the question:

How should we frame equity and the strategies to improve equity within a personalized, competency-based system?

Please note: We are asking that only people involved with district or school-wide competency education for at least one year participate in TAGs. These are not designed to support people just learning about competency education. (We suggest that those of you who are new to the topic start by reading the case studies of districts and schools.) You will have opportunity to learn from these conversations as the papers on each TAG prepared for the Summit will be made available in early June as well as the final reports post-Summit.

REGISTER for the Equity Technical Advisory Group here. (You can actually sign up for any of the TAGs. We ask for contact information and a sense of your expertise, and, at the bottom, you can sign up for the TAGs.)

How the E-TAG Works: The basics: We are setting up a virtual conversation using a Google Doc. You can visit the document anytime during the week of the TAG to leave suggestions and comments. We will do our best to incorporate your ideas in real time. At the end of the week, we will do final revisions to produce a briefing paper in advance of the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education and will help gather input from a variety of perspectives and guide conversations at the Summit. During the Summit, participants will work collaboratively to further refine the papers and produce a set of materials that will be released publicly after the Summit. The pre-Summit paper, based on your input, will be shared publicly on the Summit web page so that everyone can engage in strengthening our efforts to ensure that competency education is designed to increase equity.

Getting Started: The first thing you should do is register. On January 27th, we will send an email with links to the E-TAG document and information about the E-TAG introductory phone call. On Monday, January 30th at 1 pm ET we will have a phone call to clarify the process for the E-TAG and the structure of the paper we are providing as a starting point. Throughout the week, you can stop by the E-TAG document to see how it is developing, share your thoughts, and offer alternative ideas and phrasing. Either iNACOL’s Ashley Jones or myself will be online to respond to your ideas real-time.

We are particularly interested in gathering examples – think of them as mini case studies – of processes and designs that have led to greater equity or inequity that have developed in your district and school as you have implemented competency education.

Take Advantage of This Opportunity: Please consider taking advantage of the E-TAG to engage your organization, professional learning community, and network in exploring what are the designs, policies, processes, and practices that will lead to greater equity as well as identifying those that create opportunity for inequitable practices to take hold. You can use the ideas in the E-TAG paper to catalyze conversation and bring you’re your collective ideas to the E-TAG.

Schedule for Technical Advisory Groups: There are other TAGs coming up over the next three months. You can participate in one, some, or all. Below is the full schedule:

  1. Designing for Equity: January 30-February 3, 2017 – How should we frame equity and the strategies to improve equity within a personalized, competency-based system?
  2. Developing Policy for the Long-Term: February 6-10, 2017 – What are the long-term policies and structures needed to support personalized, competency-based districts and schools?
  3. Meeting Students Where They Are: February 27-March 3, 2017 (managed by reDesign) – As we shift from the traditional system with its focus on delivery of grade-level curriculum within a time-based model designed to sort students, to one that uses a learner-centered approach to ensure every student is reaching proficiency, what do we need to do differently to ensure that we are meeting the needs of students based on where they are?
  4. The Systems and Structures Necessary for Quality Implementation: April 3-7, 2017 – How should we think about quality that can guide implementation while still allowing for variation of models and innovation?

See you online!