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Aurora Institute

What’s New in K-12 Competency-Based Education?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Natalie Slocum

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

What's new! star graphicNews

State Policy Updates

Community and Parent Engagement

  • “Research suggests that when schools partner with and engage parents to understand and stay involved in their child’s learning experiences, the parents are more likely to support district innovation, and students tend to have better academic and social outcomes.” Learn more about why engaging parents matters via Students at the Center Hub.
  • Iowa’s Marshalltown School Board is hosting a work session to focus on competency-based grading and encouraging the public to attend, learn, and provide feedback.

Student Voice

Personalized Learning

School Designs

  • Focusing on family buy-in, Windsor Locks High School (CT) is shifting toward mastery-based learning where traditional grading no longer exists, children receive support based on their individual learning needs, and classrooms run very differently.
  • Boston’s English High School has demonstrated increased academic achievement through personalized learning, building skills and rebuilding confidence, and tracking individual student performance.
  • Maine’s Mount Desert Island High School received a $65,000 grant to create an “active learning center” for collaborative problem solving.
  • At New Hampshire’s Woodstock Union Middle School, teaching and learning become more personalized with the shift toward proficiency-based grading.


  • This Deseret News editorial notes competency-based education has benefits in Utah and beyond.
  • This opinion article raises critiques of proficiency-based learning systems. It is important to reflect upon issues raised such as this and prepare to address them.


ExcelInEd released 2 new videos on competency education: EMBED.


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