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Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education (DRAFT June 2017)

June 2017. The purpose of this paper is to explore and reflect on the ideas that state policy needs to address in the long term to support a transformation to competency-based education systems designed to ensure equity so all students can be truly ready for success. We explore threshold concepts (“core concepts, that once understood, are needed…


In Search of Efficacy: Defining the Elements of Quality in a Competency-Based Education System

June 2017. This paper seeks to identify what makes up the structures of a competency-based system and launches an exploration of what we might ask or see in a competency-based district and school that would be identified as high quality. This paper explores three questions related to defining what high quality means in a competency-based district or…


An Introduction to the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education

June 2017. This paper provides an overview of the goals of the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education, the four papers that form the basis of discussion at the Summit, and a glossary of terms used in the four papers. CompetencyWorks is hosting the National Summit on K-12 Competency-Based Education in Denver, Colorado on June 21-23, 2017.…


Meeting Students Where They Are DRAFT 2017

June 2017. This paper, written by a team from 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 personalized, competency-based systems of education. It is organized around three driving questions: 1. How do we know where students are? 2. What do we…


Teaching with a Growth Mindset

May 2017. Colorado’s District 51 is in its first year of implementing a performance-based (or competency-based) system. They are intentionally building a thriving culture rooted in growth mindset. According to Carol Dweck, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work — brains and talent are just the…


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & Accessibility in K-12 Education: Designing Learning to Serve All Students

May 2017. Digital accessibility is essential to provide educational opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve teaching and learning based on learning sciences and the creative uses of digital technologies. UDL creates learning environments that are designed to be open and accessible to all students, helps…


An Overview of K-12 Competency-Based Education for Education Leaders and Teachers

April 2017. Educators across the country have started to realize the promise of competency-based education as a new structure to organize districts and schools, designed to help students successfully master skills at each step, year after year, by ensuring they advance after they demonstrate proficiency. The concept behind competency education is simple: learning is best measured by students demonstrating…


How Teachers Are Personalizing Math for Middle School Students

April 2017. Personalized learning is revolutionizing K-12 education by redesigning learning experiences to address the specific needs of each student, each day. Named by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 inventions of the year, the school-based Teach to One: Math learning model personalizes math for middle school students while ensuring students make deep connections with each other…


Communication and Outreach Strategies for Leaders Shifting to Personalized Learning

April 2017. Effective community engagement is a cornerstone of successful personalized learning implementation. As schools and districts shift toward personalized learning, it is imperative to effectively engage parents, teachers, students and community members through intentional, meaningful communication and outreach strategies. What do these communication and outreach strategies look like? View this archived webinar to learn how to…


Course Access: Improving Student Access to Advanced Coursework

March 2017. Every student deserves the opportunity to access the courses she or he needs for success in college and careers. However, too many students, and in particular those from traditionally underserved backgrounds face significant inequities. According to the U.S. Department of Education: Only 50% of U.S. high schools offer calculus and only 63% offer physics. Black and…