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Aurora Institute

Such Wonderful New Resources

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

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

There are so many great resources coming out this summer!I haven’t even had time to waScreen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.54.23 AMtch and read everything….but wanted to make sure you all know about them.

Statewide Transformation: First, a big shout out to New Hampshire for sharing their learning. They’ve created a web page New Hampshire’s Story of Transformation complete with videos so you can hear from their leadership and innovators directly. It’s a great resource that explores how they think about student engagement, how they are providing support to educators, and the history of their process towards competency-based education. You can also hear from Paul Leather as he provides a synopsis of the state’s approach.

State and District Updates:

  • South Carolina: It looks like proficiency-based learning may be taking hold in  South Carolina. The South Carolina Science Academy  was the first school I heard about that was competency-based in SC.  Charleston is working with Reinventing Schools Coalition. Now Deerfield Elementary School in Columbia is beginning to pilot the approach. I’ll be making a visit to SC this fall…so stay tuned.
  • Alaska: Highland Tech Charter (grades 6-12) in Anchorage, Alaska recently received some of the highest marks a school can achieve during its accreditation assessment from AdvanceED.
  • Maine: Maine is working with Quality Performance Assessment in their performance assessment development process. The first step is developing sample performance assessments of Maine’s Guiding Principles. The goal of this work is to create a repository of performance assessments that provide student demonstrations of proficiency across a variety of content areas.

Understanding Competency Education: Marzano Research Laboratory has released a recording of the webinar on the basics of competency education presented by Dr. Marzano and Rick Schreiber of the Reinventing Schools Coalition.

Communication: Nellie Mae Education Foundation has released a new message manual and video presentation providing to accompany their reference guide on  student-centered learning.

Higher Education:

Professional Development: State, district and school leaders might also find the study Global trends in professional learning and performance & development:Some implications and ideas for the Australian education system from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership helpful. Some of the highlights includes greater personalization, strong cultures of high expectations and performance, more informal approaches that develop through challenges faced on the job, more self-directed learning and relying on incentives rather than compulsory professional development.