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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

ResourcesScreen Shot 2014-08-30 at 7.22.41 AM

Achieve released a new paper titled Assessment to Support Competency-Based Pathways which addresses the role of summative assessment, clarifies key assessment challenges, and provides examples and recommendations that are useful to those who wish to design and implement assessment systems to support competency-based pathways.

Additionally, Springpoint is sharing a new set of resources, “Inside Mastery Based High Schools: Profiles and Conversations.” These resources — which include profiles, artifacts, and interview transcripts with school leaders — are drawn from visits to six competency-based high schools last year. Together, they provide a vivid picture of what competency-based learning looks like in a variety of contexts.

Springpoint began this project to address a need for concrete examples of competency-based learning in practice. Given the novelty of this work, they realized that many new school designers know the theory behind competency-based learning but would benefit from a deeper an understanding of its day-to-day practicalities.

They visited the following six schools:

For each school, they’ve included: (1) a brief profile with an overview of the model, student population, and location, (2) a transcript of our interview with the school’s leaders — these are especially useful because so many leaders discussed key decisions and lessons learned, and (3) relevant artifacts including student schedules, competency frameworks, sample mastery-based student transcripts, graduation checklists, and goal setting protocols. Springpoint is hoping that these resources will be helpful to others involved in designing competency-based school models.

Communication and Community

  • Thomas Rooney, in his article titled How Lindsay Activated Change by Activating Their Community, discusses the role of community in the transition process to competency education. He explores methods to engage leadership and the community, the development of a Strategic Design plan, and what students can bring to the process.
  • Innovate Public Schools offers a Parent Guide for competency education. This article discusses the implications of competency education for the school and children, what it looks like in practice, which schools and districts use competency-based systems, and top resources to learn more.

News and Events

For more news, information, and resources in competency education, follow us on twitter: @CompetencyWorks.