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Aurora Institute

What’s New in K-12 Competency Education?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Natalie Slocum

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

What's new! star graphicBrian Stack and Jonathan Vander Els are publishing a book on September 27, 2017 titled: Breaking with Tradition: The Shift to Competency-Based Learning in PLCs at Work. Learn more and preorder here.

California’s Lindsay Unified School District

  • Lindsey Unified released a new video on their “learning communities” and how they are transforming public education to support a healthy, empowered and sustainable community.
  • Lindsay released a new podcast, Lindsay Live, which will provide insights into what it takes to succeed in the performance based system.


  • New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) program is showing early improvements in the Smarter Balanced assessments over the past two years, with significant improvements for students with disabilities, when compared with non-PACE districts. Read more about this early evidence of student achievement gains in this blog and in this article.
  • In competency-based systems, athletic directors are rethinking what eligibility for sports looks like.
  • The New York Times covered competency-based education in New York City.

On Race and Equity

Colorado’s District 51

Policy Updates

New School Models

Mastery Week

  • Springpoint, Mastery Collaborative, Great Schools Partnership, KnowledgeWorks, NGLC, iNACOL and CompetencyWorks held the first-ever Mastery Week, focusing on communications to improve mastery- or competency-based learning. Learn more here.
  • Getting Smart released a podcast highlighting Chris Sturgis on Demonstrating Mastery for Future Success.

Updates in Maine

  • This KnowledgeWorks blog highlights how Maine’s RSU2 has transformed to a learner-centered, competency-based system.
  • Proficiency-based grading takes effect in Maine, with eighth-graders being the first students in the state to be held to proficiency-based academic standards.
  • Maine held a hearing to gather input on proposed regulations aimed at giving schools flexibility for developing consistent graduation standards. Some believe the new rules could make it harder for students with disabilities to earn diplomas.

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