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Competency-Based Education (K-12)Selected Research & Readings
What States Are Doing
Selected Research & Readings

Competency-Based Education: Who’s Doing What PDF - There is a growing buzz regarding competency-based education, and this document is designed to direct policymakers to the various organizations that are furthering the concept of competency-based education. (Vincent Scudella, ECS, September 2013)...

Competency-Based Education in Three Pilot Programs: Examining Implementation and Outcomes - An evaluation of three pilot competency-based programs, this report found that although each grantee emphasized different aspects of competence, student experiences of the programs were similar. Sites faced challenges in determining credit for out-of-school activities and in evaluating students based on performance, not effort. Student performance varied across sites. (Jennifer L. Steele, et al., Rand Education, August 2014)...

The Imperative for State Leadership: Advancing Competency-Based Pathways to College and Career Readiness Series - As states transition from a traditional education system to competency-based pathways, strong leadership will be required across three areas. States need to clarify the purpose and meaning of competency-based pathways. They need to ensure that state graduation requirements, assessments and accountability requirements promote determinations of competency that equate to college and career readiness. Finally, they need to address risks to equity so there will be greater opportunity for disadvantaged students. (Cory Curl, Achieve, July 2014)...

Are Personalized Learning Environments the Next Wave of K-12 Education Reform? - In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Race to the Top-District grant program emphasizing personalized learning environments. This paper looks at the first round of 16 winners and their approaches. Four themes emerged from the applications: blended learning environments, individualized college and career readiness learning plans, competency-based models, and engaging and empowering key stakeholder groups including community partnerships and networks. (American Institutes for Research)...

Advancing Competency-Based Pathways to College and Career Readiness - Designed to help states implement the Common Core by adopting competency-based pathways, this framework focuses on graduation requirements, assessment, and accountability. Students advance by demonstrating mastery and competencies are designed to include learning objectives that empower them. Assessments are to be meaningful learning experiences. The framework is flexible, recognizing that some states will want to keep the current system intact, while others will want to reimagine the system and opt for a whole different animal. (Achieve, July 2013)...

Getting Down to Dollars and Cents: What Do School Districts Spend to Deliver Student-Centered Learning? - In this report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), the authors examine schools that are embracing the principles of student-centered learning (SCL), an approach that focuses on personalized and authentic instruction, mastery-based assessment, and learning models that change the school schedule. Conclusions from the study include: SCL in practice varies across schools, district spending on SCL schools isn’t consistently higher or lower than non-SCL, and SCL schools allocate resources differently than traditional schools. (CRPE, November 2012)...

Cracking the Credit Hour - The basic currency of higher education — the credit hour — represents the root of many problems plaguing America's higher education system: the practice of measuring time rather than learning. This paper traces the history of this time-based unit, from the days of Andrew Carnegie to recent federal efforts to define a credit hour. The report shows the credit hour is putting our nation's workforce and future prosperity at risk. It outlines several steps the federal government can take now to shift from measuring seat time to learning. (New America Foundation and Education Sector, September 2012) ...

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