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Aurora Institute

Press Release

CompetencyWorks Releases New Report on Meeting Students Where They Are in K-12 Competency-Based Education Systems

Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2018) – Today, CompetencyWorks (@CompetencyWorks), an initiative of iNACOL, released a new report, Meeting Students Where They Are. This paper explores how K-12 competency-based schools and districts can more effectively meet students where they are, fully preparing students for success in college, career and life.

Competency-based education (CBE) models are organized to advance learning, starting with where students are in terms of academic, cognitive and lifelong learning skills (growth mindset, habits of work and learning, metacognition and social and emotional skills). The models stand in stark contrast to traditional education systems, which use a one-size-fits-all approach to delivering grade-level content.

Meeting Students Where They Are, written by Antonia Rudenstine, Sydney Schaef, Dixie Bacallao and Sarah Hakani of reDesign, provides school and district leaders with an in-depth exploration of the relational, pedagogical and structural dimensions of meeting students where they are in K-12 competency-based education systems. Competency-based education models, designed to ensure equity for all students, are gaining momentum nationally. Central to CBE is a commitment to meet students where they are. The report provides strategies for practitioners in K-12 competency-based models to meet students where they are on a variety of dimensions and maximize the potential of each student’s unique skills and interests.

Susan Patrick, CompetencyWorks co-founder and iNACOL President and CEO, said, “Educators across the country are transforming their schools and designing new models to create more student-centered, equitable environments. Creating learning environments that truly meet students where they are is critical to the success and sustainability of this transformation.”

Antonia Rudenstine, reDesign Director said, “Meeting students where they are requires a potent mix of a commitment to equity; a belief in the power of students’ wisdom; responsive pedagogy grounded in the learning sciences; a reinvention of learning experiences, curriculum and learning assets; a reimagining of assessment; and the redesign of schools and classrooms. The complexities of this work are simultaneously exciting and humbling.”

Download a full copy of Meeting Students Where They Are.

For more information about CompetencyWorks, a project of iNACOL dedicated to advancing K-12 competency education, please visit

About CompetencyWorks

CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to providing information and knowledge about competency education in the K-12 education system. Drawing on lessons learned by innovators and early adopters, CompetencyWorks shares original research, knowledge and a variety of perspectives through an informative blog with practitioner knowledge, policy advancements, papers on emerging issues and a wiki with resources curated from across the field. CompetencyWorks also offers a blog on competency education in higher education so that the sectors can learn from each other and begin to align systems across K-12, higher education and the workplace. Visit the website and follow CompetencyWorks on Twitter: @CompetencyWorks.

About iNACOL

The mission of iNACOL is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.

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