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Aurora Institute

Iowa CBE Collaborative Launches

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): State Policy, Create Pilots and Innovation Zones

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 12.23.17 PMA whole new set of districts are about begin the conversion to a competency-based system…

The Iowa Competency-based Education (CBE) Collaborative has launched with the support of $100,000 allocated by Iowa’s state legislature to support districts as they begin to innovate. Grant applications are due at the end of September, and we should hear about the 10 districts (or more if they are in a collaborative) by the beginning of November.

Iowa’s RFP instructions and criteria are available on the web if you want to take a look.  I think the criteria they have set up is interesting;  it asks  for evidence that the community values learning and that the school staff believe that all students can learn. Makes me wonder if we’ll soon be seeing one of those “one book, one city” programs using The Growth Mindset to revitalize their community.

Below is the list of external and internal evidence asked for in the RFP.

External Evidence

1. Evidence of social capital within the community and a willingness to take risks/innovate.

2. Evidence the community values learning and youth.

3. Evidence of a community belief that all students can learn.

4. Evidence that people without children in school feel connected to the school in some way.

5. Evidence of support from community leaders to change/improve the school.

6. No evidence of significant conflict between city, county, school, etc.

Internal Evidence

1. Evidence of strong commitment to the CBE Collaborative.

2. Evidence that the district has garnered resources toward some agreed upon effort in the past (Evidence of Innovation/Cooperation).

3. Evidence of a previous commitment to improvement focused on student learning.

4. Evidence of a belief that all students can learn and a willingness to include all students in this effort.

5. Evidence of an understanding of Comprehensive School Improvement.

6. Evidence of commitment at all levels of the system to professional development.

7. Evidence of a willingness to use multiple sources of data about student learning.

8. Evidence of some level of financial health within the district – the school district will most likely be viable in five years and beyond.

9. Evidence of leadership (including the school board) commitment to improving teaching and learning.


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