- Bill Zima, principal at Mt. Arafat Middle School in Maine and a CompetencyWorks contributor, has been hired as supterintendent at RSU2 to replace Virgel Hammonds, who is going to KnowledgeWorks.
- iNACOL is hosting a Leadership webinar on August 12, titled Personalized Learning: What It Takes to Get Started, featuring iNACOL President and CEO Susan Patrick and 2Revolutions Partner Bryan Setser. This webinar is free to attend, but please register to receive final log in details.
What Is Competency Education?
- A Q&A with Rebecca Wolfe, Director of Students at the Center project and personalized learning advocate, discusses how personalized learning can help historically underserved students.
- Formative assessment is an ideal starting point on the path to personalization; tracking student mastery is an ideal next step. Read more here.
Implementing Competency Education
- This Mind/Shift KQED article explores the failings of the one-size-fits-all education system and the strengths of the competency education architecture using the framework outlined in the most recent CompetencyWorks report, Implementing Competency Education in K-12 Systems: Insights from Local Leaders.
- Tom Vander Ark discussed the following seven implementation barriers on the path to personalization: policy, leadership, school models, assessment, adoption, student use, and disconnected parents. Read more.
Assessment and Accountability
- Jennifer Davis Poon discusses coupling flexible assessments while still meeting accountability requirements in a recent EdWeek blog: Yes, Apples and Oranges Can Be Compared: Accountability With Flexible Assessments.
- Lewiston High School, a proficiency-based school in its first year of implementation, dramatically increased academic rigor and heightened standards for incoming freshmen—and found that increased rigor did not lead to higher course failure rates.
Competency Education Expands and Grows
- The Washington D.C. Education Board is considering movement toward competency education implementation. They are launching a task force to develop recommendations, and a move in this direction would open up more avenues for students to earn credits.
- School District 51’s Director of Communications Dan Dougherty shares Colorado’s changing graduation guidelines and explores performance-based learning—while inviting parents and the community to engage in discussions around these changes.
- NYC’s Epic High Schools, an initiative to improve the college and career preparedness of young black and Latino men, is reconstructing the physical space in three high schools to support competency-based learning.
- Achieve released a new resource, The Role of Learning Progressions in Competency-Based Pathways, including insights from a May 29th convening to establish dialogue across practitioners, state and local leaders, and researchers.
- Also, Achieve and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) co-wrote Building a Strong Relationship Between Competency-Based Pathways and Career Technical Education, which identifies opportunities for collaboration, integration, and strengthened relationships between competency education and career technical leaders.
- American Youth Policy Forum released a recent video, Competency-based Learning in 60 Seconds, which demonstrates how to engage students, offer transparency, and use student mastery as the ultimate metric of success.