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Aurora Institute

Design for Educational Equity

Equity is at the core of competency-based education.

Summary

Education innovations must be for equity and designed to create an education system that is effective for every learner, not just for some. There is growing recognition that despite dramatic improvements in education over the last century, the one-size-fits-all, time-based system simply does not work as well as needed. High-quality, competency-based education starts with a deep commitment to equity by leadership and a fundamental belief that all students can and should learn and achieve at high levels.

Competency-based education is being implemented at deeper levels in more schools every year. It is a major shift in school culture, structures, and pedagogy focused on ensuring that all students succeed and addressing the fundamental shortcomings of the traditional model. To ensure that all students are consistently held to high expectations, policy leaders have to intentionally act to provide equitable resources, serve historically underserved students, identify bias, and challenge patterns of institutional racism and classism. Enhancing diversity and inclusion within the educator workforce will help personalized, competency-based education systems address these issues.

Recommendations

  • Policymakers can support technical assistance for strategies, practices and professional development to advance DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) by directing funds to DEI initiatives and prioritizing equity.
  • Policymakers¬† should encourage state education agencies and local education agencies to include multiple measures of academic proficiency, progress and growth in their accountability systems.
  • Policymakers should encourage states to disaggregate data across multiple measures of success to identify and illuminate disparities in outcomes among peer groups and target resources to provide adequate supports for continuous improvement.