This blog series shares lessons from leaders in competency-based education at different levels of leadership: state, district, and school. Each post will highlight the work of several leaders at a given level and will share lessons learned for other educators to consider in their own development of competency-based education.
In order to be successful in the 21st century, students will need to master an expanded set of competencies that extends beyond discrete academic standards. Competency-based education (CBE) is an educational approach that focuses on mastery of these competencies – rather than seat time – as a measure of student learning. This approach is being adopted by a growing number of educators focused on ensuring students graduate college and career ready.
How can educators assess students’ college and career readiness, particularly the deep content knowledge and complex skills required with new standards? Performance tasks are one way to assess students’ college and career readiness because they require students to produce authentic work that demonstrates their mastery of specific skills and content.
Implementing higher and clearer common expectations in core subjects is a big step forward for American education. However, helping more students reach higher standards will take more than updated core academic programs; it will require more robust guidance and support services as well. The intent of this paper is to clarify the central mission of student guidance systems, sketch the architecture of information systems, and encourage aggregated demand in the hope that it will lead to more investment and innovation in next-generation guidance systems.
States are increasingly embracing the use of student-centered learning in classrooms. However, outdated federal K–12 education policies pose considerable barriers to the widespread adoption of this approach.
Innovative schools and districts around the country are making the shift to a learning environment where instruction is aligned to learn standards, informed by data, and customized to students' needs and interests, while students and parents also have a clear understanding of what is required to master the material.