Today, CompetencyWorks released Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education, a new book offering guidance on ensuring high-quality learning environments as more schools and districts transform to competency-based education systems.
Developed with input from pioneering educators and school district leaders, the book offers 16 Quality Design Principles to guide the development of competency-based learning, with the goal of creating a system in which all students succeed.
“The main point of the book is to create a deeper understanding of the elements required for a high-quality education system that is competency-based and ensures mastery of knowledge and skills for all learners,” said Susan Patrick, CompetencyWorks Co-Founder and iNACOL (@nacol) President and CEO. “This book fills a gap in the field in terms of harmonizing efforts to ensure quality in the accelerating shift to competency-based education.”
Policies supporting competency-based education — also referred to as mastery-based, performance-based and proficiency-based education — have been enacted in 48 states. Districts and schools are turning to competency-based education for different reasons but mainly because of a growing realization that the traditional time-based structures that produce today’s achievement gaps and under-prepared high school graduates are inadequate for student needs. Education leaders also turn to competency education to ensure globally competitive graduates, design learning environments that promote what is best for students, achieve greater equity, create a system of continuous improvement and learning and foster deeper learning.
As they shift, districts and school leaders around the nation are using different entry points to begin transforming their systems, and they are making different design choices. That means competency-based education looks different, depending on the local operating context. No matter the entry point, the depth of implementation or the model, however, the guidance in Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education is intended to spark discussion and support tough decision-making toward high-quality learning for all.
“Building and sharing knowledge about quality design and implementation is essential for competency-based education to fulfill its promise as a model that enables all of our students to succeed,” Chris Sturgis, CompetencyWorks Co-Founder, said. “We expect school and district leaders to use this book to build a deeper understanding of competency-based education and to more quickly identify and correct missteps in implementation. It is important to students and to the future of competency education that we are able to increase the pace of transition to high-quality systems.