New! Policy and Implementation Tool (attached below) developed by the Hewlett Foundation and Introduced at February 2013 Innovation Lab Network Meeting.
Check Out! A Snapshot of Competency Education State Policy Across the United States
From Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning
At the Summit, Gene Wilhoit offered a historical perspective on how “good” state policies are defined very differently today from the way they were even five years ago.
Historically, state policy would be considered “good” because it was very clear. It would help the state departments of education administer rules and regulations usually set outside the agency. A primary function of a state department of education was to be a keeper of established policies. Policies were often stated as institutional priorities or adult needs in the system. Policies defined how adults and students would act and the procedures to follow. States measured success by how well everyone was complying in carrying out policies in the same way.
Wilhoit explained how state departments of education have redefined themselves as “on a mission for transforming the system to meet a set of higher expectations.” Marginal improvements are inadequate under the global challenge to simultaneously lift academic standards, eliminate the achievement gap, personalize instruction, and discover greater cost-effectiveness. The traditional approach emphasizing compliance “becomes suspect as state departments of education strive to encourage innovation.”
Within the context of next generation learning, what makes “good” state policy is going to be very different. He outlined a new set of principles as a framework for state policy.
A Closer Look at State Policy
A few states are racing ahead, designing policies that boldly advance competency-based learning. They provide excellent building blocks in the nascent field of competency-based systems for designing comprehensive state policy frameworks. Drawing upon the lessons learned from the most advanced states, an initial starting point for aligning the policy infrastructure include:
Those states with pilots of competency education, credit flexibility policies or advanced next generation policies. Increasingly, states are creating policies that create opportunities for innovation through pilots or credit flexibility. These policies provide districts with the ability to use competency-based learning instead of seat-time. There are two drawbacks to promoting innovation through credit flexibilty. First, it relies on districts taking advantage of the enabling policy. Experience in other states suggests that there is rarely much uptake unless the state provides supportive mechanisms such as training, technical assistance, peer networks, or pilots. Second, there is a risk of districts implementing credit flexibility with inconsistent attention to quality and the level of academic standards. States may need to establish quality-control mechanisms.
States with seat-time waivers or task forces exploring competency education.
Not Yet Advancing Competency-Based Education (* indicates competency-based school/district has been identified within the state)