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Aurora Institute

What’s New in Competency Education

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

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

Gatherings and Site VisitsiNCL_CW_logo_K12iNCL_CW_logo_K12

  • Registration is open for the High School Redesign in Action is the New England Secondary School Consortium’s sixth annual conference for educators to share success stories, exchange best practices, and continue to build momentum for innovations that will prepare all students for success in the colleges, careers, and communities of the 21st century.  This is a great place to learn about competency education in action. Thursday + Friday, March 26-27, 2015 in Norwood, MA.
  • ACHIEVE held their annual meeting for state leaders has competency education last week. On the agenda:
  • From Seat-time to Mastery: Competency-based Pathways to Colleges and Careers  discusses approaches to moving away from measuring student knowledge as a function of time toward one that uses content mastery as the primary criterion. The unique role the postsecondary sector can play to signal support is also stressed. Speakers include: Ellen Hume-Howard, Curriculum Director, Sanborn Regional School District, New Hampshire; Dan Mielke, Executive Director, Eastern Promise, Eastern Oregon University; Rachelle Tome, Chief Academic Officer, Maine Department of Education and Cory Curl, Senior Fellow, Assessment and Accountability, Achieve.
  • Communicating the Potential of Competency-based Learning highlights effective advocacy and communications practices to promote competency-based education across interest groups.Speakers include: Theresa Bennett, Education Associate, ELA, Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development, Delaware Department of Education; Pete Janhunen, The Fratelli Group; and Lindsay Jones, Director, Public Policy and Advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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News and Blogs


  • Boston Day and Evening’s Project Month is underway. Here is a sample of what you can see on Symposium Night this year: Lift Every Voice: Empowering Teens through Digital Storytelling (Genre Writing and Technology); Hip Hop Nation (Intro to History and Genre Writing); The Life and Death of a Star (Physics); Building Boxes and Small Thingamabobs (Geometry 1 and Career Enrichment); Crime and Punishment: A Moral, Legal, Scientific, and Philosophical Analysis of Our World (Research and Advanced Science); Paying Respect to Great Great Grandma (Advanced History); Health Benefits of Yoga (Advanced Biology); B-FIT (Algebra A and B); Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Exploring and Acting Shakespeare (Advanced Literature and Career Exploration); Imagine It With Math (Algebra E); Designing the “Perfect Society” Through Science (Genetics); August Wilson Monologue Competition (Intro to Literature and Career Exploration); and How Economics Effects Urban Communities (Career Exploration and Number Sense).