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    What is Competency-Based Learning?

    Competency-based pathways are a re-engineering of our education system around learning—a re-engineering designed for success in which failure is no longer an option.  Competency-based approaches build upon standard reforms, offering a new value proposition:

    By aligning all of our resources (in schools, the community, and online) around student learning to enable students to progress upon mastery, our country can increase productivity in the education system, while simultaneously raising achievement levels overall and reducing the achievement gap.

    There are a growing number of education leaders who understand that the traditional time-based ways of organizing learning (courses, grades, Carnegie unit, and the assumption that learning takes place in the classroom) contribute to the re-construction of inequity in our public school system.  Advancements in online learning, customized or individualized learning, and competency-based learning in which students progress based on demonstrated mastery of skills and knowledge are opening doors to understanding the future of education.

    There is a tremendous risk in considering competency-based approaches as equivalent to credit flexibility. Simply unhooking credits from the Carnegie unit could contribute to a new mechanism for institutionalizing low expectations. Our challenge is to design competency-based pathways so that they replace the time-based system with a set of practices that propel students toward mastery of college and career-ready skills.

    This wiki is designed to collect and share knowledge on competency-based innovations at the classroom, school, district, and state levels.  Please let us know if there are resources and information that should be added.


    Did You Miss a Webinar?

    You can find recordings and resources here.

     Past Webinars -- Links to Recordings, Presentation, and Resources

    Aligning Competencies with the Common Core with Beatriz Zapater and Alison Hramiec of Boston Day and Evening Academy and Rebecca Wolfe, Jobs for the Future. 

    Creating Systems of Assessments will highlight efforts at Casco Bay High School in Portland, Maine and Vergennes Unified High School in Vermont in building capacity of their schools to provide meaningful assessments. 

    Student Experience: Pacing and Personalization will look at two different models, and how they are organizing resources to respond to the different needs of students. Joining the webinar are David Osborne, National Center for Education and the Economy, Andrew Skarzynski, Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy, and Ephraim Weisstein, Schools for the Futur

    Spanning the Grades: A Look At Elementary, Middle School And High School Competency-Based Models highlights the work of  MSAD 15 in Gray-New Gloucester, Maine in rolling out competency education across all their schools.

    Re-Engineering for Competency Education: Information Technology Design Considerations will feature Liz Glowa as she walks through her findings on the challenges of designing information management systems that support student learning.

    The Learning Edge: Supporting Student Success in a Competency-Based Learning Environment will explore in more depth the design principles for embedding support within competency-based models. Nicholas C. Donohue, Laura Shubilla and Chris Sturgis will be presenters. 

    How State Educational Leaders are Advancing Competency Education based on Necessary for Success: Building Mastery of World-Class Skills — A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education with Susan Patrick, iNACOL, Jason Glass, Iowa Department of Education and Don Siviski, Maine Department of Education.