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Aurora Institute

National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

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

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-11-23-15-amWe are delighted to announce that CompetencyWorks is hosting a National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education in Denver, Colorado on June 21-23, 2017. After we did our initial scan of the field in 2010, we helped to organize the first Competency-Based Learning Summit, bringing together 100 innovators to address challenging issues involved in creating competency-based systems. (See Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning and It’s Not About Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit.)

Six years later, competency-based education is advancing across the country as a critical component of creating an education system able to personalize education while staying true to the vision of an equitable education system. As our understanding of competency-based education has grown, so has our understanding of critical issues that must be addressed in order to ensure equity of access and outcomes as well as high quality of implementation. In response, we are convening the second National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education to draw on the collective leadership, creativity, and expertise to chart our course for the next wave of innovation, implementation, and expansion. The Summit will tackle six issues: equity, policy, quality, meeting kids where they are, identifying emerging issues, and revising the working definition of competency education.

The Summit is invitation-only and will convene 100 leading innovators to move the field of competency-based education through the next generation of ideas and actionable outcomes, with a specific focus on equity and diversity. However, there are thousands upon thousands of incredibly dedicated educators and policymakers creating competency-based systems. In order to gain insight into all of your knowledge and create the opportunity for you to participate in shaping the ideas to be considered at the Summit, we have created a participatory process to engage a wider network of experts and ensure we’re tapping into the collective knowledge of the field. We invite you to participate by joining a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), outlined below.

Join a Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

As part of this participatory process, we are creating a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for each of the following four key issues, where we will share a draft document and ask the TAG to share their insights at some point during a one-week virtual session. If you have at least one year of experience in competency education, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to sign up for at least one TAG here. You can use this opportunity to engage your organizations, schools, professional learning communities, and networks in deep conversations around these issues and share your collective insights. The schedule for the TAG sessions are listed below:

  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?

How the TAG process works: Each TAG will provide insights on the draft document during the assigned one-week virtual session in Google Docs. CompetencyWorks and partners will be making real-time changes to the papers based on the shared insights and feedback, so we hope you can check in multiple times throughout the week. These papers will help gather input from a variety of perspectives and will guide conversations at the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education.

During the Summit, attendees will discuss these key issues, collaborate on the field’s challenges, network, and brainstorm solutions and best practices to advance K-12 competency-based education.

After the Summit, CompetencyWorks will distribute the knowledge generated through multiple methods and channels, including the traditional publishing of a paper, social media, blogs, and webinars.

Sign up to join a TAG here. Once you sign up, we will contact you with more information.