What’s New in K-12 Competency Education?
Alison Hramiec, Head of School at Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA), penned at three-part blog series on school culture:
- The Crucial Factor in School Success is School Culture (Part 1 of 3)
- Creating a School Culture Where Students and Teachers Both Flourish (Part 2 of 3)
- Hiring: The Very First Step to a Flourishing School Culture (Part 3 of 3)
Here is another article on how ‘last-chance’ schools like BDEA prove to be the best chance to help struggling students.
Addressing Concerns and Misconceptions
There are more concerns being raised about personalized learning and competency-based education. Some concerns are grounded in misconceptions and not fully understanding what the concepts mean to students and their learning. Here is an example of an article that opposes competency education, but demonstrates misconceptions about the premise and goals of competency-based education.
Other concerns are focused on responding to state expectations, rather than focusing on what students need in order to succeed. We share these with you so that leaders in competency-based education have an opportunity to think about how to respond to these misconceptions and concerns upfront, and to make sure that you are addressing them in design and implementation.
Social Emotional Learning
- The Harvard Graduate School of Education released a new report, Navigating SEL from the Inside Out: Looking Inside & Across 25 Leading SEL Programs: A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers.
- Gil G. Noam penned a response to Chester Finn’s critique of SELin Education Week, and argues for adopting broader definitions of student success.
English Language Learners
This Forbes piece highlights the International High School at Langley Park as a shining example of a school that serves immigrant and refugee students and is achieving notable success. Here are a couple articles on other schools within the International Network of Public Schools:
- Flushing International’s Three Learning Outcomes: Habits, Language, and Academic Skills
- First Stop of the Magical Mastery Tour: Bronx International High School
iNACOL released a new report, Next Generation Learning Models for English Language Learners: Promising Practices and Considerations for Teaching and Learning, which highlights promising practices and trends in personalized learning and competency-based education for English language learner (ELL) students. This paper shares case studies and examples from schools and programs that are currently creating personalized, competency-based learning environments for ELL students.
High School Diplomas
- In Maine, the proficiency-based diploma has clear and high expectations that all students should reach proficiency (defined as 80 percent) on eight high school exit exams in order to earn a high school diploma.
- In contrast, the Ohio Senate just voted to allow the class of 2018 to receive diplomas through the ‘competency-free option’—without demonstrating proficiency in a single academic subject area. Students can earn a high school diploma upon meeting just two of eight conditions.
Student Voice and Choice
- This article calls for giving students more agency in their learning by allowing them to follow their interests with projects that meet state standards.
- High School Student Matt Koucky wrote this article on Montpelier High School’s proficiency-based system.
State Policy Updates
- Nevada passed legislation that enables competency-based education.
- Connecticut students will be required to complete a one-credit mastery-based diploma assessment as part of high school graduation, beginning with the class of 2023.
- In Michigan, competency education is part of Governor Rick Snyder’s education reform package.
- Virginia is considering revising graduation requirements to include performance-based assessments for writing and social studies.
- Doug Mesecar analyzes personalized learning under the Every Student Succeeds Act, and looks at three states leading the way. Here are four ways Tennessee is prioritizing personalized learning in its new ESSA plan, one of which is through competency-based education.
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