Competency-Based Learning

Dave Peters, Director of Student Services for Everett Public Schools, outside the district office on March 2, 2021.
Dave Peters, director of student services for Everett Public Schools in Washington, saw the value of teacher collaboration during the pandemic.
Kaylee Domzalski/Education Week
School & District Management Lessons From the Pandemic That Can Improve Leading and Teaching
Video feedback, prioritizing student well-being, and deeper grade-band collaboration have proven promising, educators say.
Denisa R. Superville, March 16, 2021
8 min read
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Classroom Technology The Mastery vs. Seat-Time Debate Takes Center Stage Under Remote Learning
Emphasizing mastery of a subject over time spent in a classroom has become more relevant during COVID-19. But will that lead to big changes?
Mark Lieberman, November 4, 2020
9 min read
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Student Achievement One Big Barrier to Personalized Learning: Time
Encouraging students to work at their own pace is a worthy goal, educators say, but difficult to pull off due to rigid school schedules and other barriers.
Sarah Schwartz, November 5, 2019
8 min read
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School Climate & Safety Opinion How Our District Reimagined Special Education
We should have one nimble education system that serves all students, writes Colorado educator Steve Sandoval.
Steve Sandoval, September 16, 2019
4 min read
Assessment Video K-12 Performance Assessment Terms Explained
Interest is growing in assessing students’ learning by having them show what they can do with what they know. But educators often disagree about what terms like performance assessment and project-based learning really mean in the classroom. In an effort to clear up some of the confusion, Education Week writers developed definitions for six performance-assessment related terms, including proficiency-based learning, project-based learning, standards-based grading, and portfolios. See the results in this animated glossary.
February 25, 2019
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Assessment Opinion Where Can Tech Outdo a Teacher?
In tomorrow's classrooms, technology won't replace teachers—it will make them better. Here's how.
Contributing Blogger, February 21, 2019
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Beyond Classroom Management
Want a class that functions smoothly and productively? Forget the carrots and sticks; make sure each student has appropriately challenging work instead.
Contributing Blogger, January 23, 2019
4 min read
Student Achievement Opinion Mastering Process in Competency-Based Learning
One possible drawback to competency-based learning is an overemphasis on the end product. What is it we really want students to master?
Contributing Blogger, January 10, 2019
3 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Scaling Competency-Based Education: Equity-Focused Strategies for Policy and Practice
An in-depth look at current barriers to competency-based education, the equity imperative behind CBE, and five key points to move the field toward CBE for all.
Tom Vander Ark, December 5, 2018
4 min read
Education Opinion The Case for Competency as a New Equity Agenda
By Tom Vander Ark and Mary Ryerse
We believe that every student deserves a great high school education - one that engages, challenges and inspires them, equips them to succeed in a rapidly changing world, and prepares them to thrive in the jobs of the future. We believe that all students should progress based on mastery and be provided the supports they need to succeed.
Tom Vander Ark, October 22, 2018
8 min read
Student Achievement Opinion Making Math Meaningful: A Just-in-Time, Problem-Based Approach
Mathematics as a discipline was developed to solve real problems. It should be the problems that drive what our students learn, not vice versa.
Contributing Blogger, October 17, 2018
4 min read
Assessment Opinion Not Your Grandfather's Vo-tech
A new generation of Career Technical Education (CTE) schools like Butler Tech Bioscience Center in Ohio provide all students with the kind of learning they need in today's world.
Contributing Blogger, October 5, 2018
8 min read
Professional Development Opinion A Decade On: Lindsay Unified's Personalized Learning Journey
Over a decade ago, Lindsay Unified School District in California set out on a path to transform learning by adopting a performance-based system. How has the district sustained this kind of change over time?
Contributing Blogger, September 21, 2018
10 min read
Assessment Opinion Creating Space
If we want good things to happen in K-12 education, we have to create space for them. And creating space isn't easy.
Contributing Blogger, July 13, 2018
4 min read