In addition to personalizing learning for students at the classroom level, many districts are facing systems-level challenges related to implementing new competency-based progressions throughout K-12 schools. Districts are working on curriculum alignment so that students can advance according to their mastery of subjects, as opposed to a linear progression through grade levels based on age. Districts struggle to provide pathways for students beyond standard sequences of required courses; they lack student-centered, modular ways for individual learners to advance through their education with a new system.
High school staff responded this challenge is widespread
Staff from rural districts responded this challenge is urgent
“It's part online and part in class, but students don't have to be in class all five days of the week. Students in math who take blended [might] feel pretty good about math. They think, "I can manage that." So it creates some unintended tracking, so that the blended classes [may] become students who just perform better...so that’s something I think about in terms of student pathways and progression.”
“We've been doing curriculum alignment for a while and the biggest problem is the K-12 continuum. We can do things at the elementary, we can do things at the middle, and we can do it at the high school. So we have solid pieces in each one of the places. The issue that we have is aligning it K-12.”
Competency-Based Policies and Pathways: Lessons from Colorado and Illinois - From Achieve, this paper discusses considerations and recommendations identified from ongoing competency-based pathways (CBP) work and highlights strategies and actions that will enable CBP and college- and career-ready expectations to occur simultaneously with a particular focus on CBP-enabled graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems.
Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems - From CompetencyWorks, this paper provides a framework to build a deeper understanding of competency-based education.
Competency-Based Pathways - From Achieve, this infographic shares the stories of three students whose academic progress has been shaped by the opportunities, flexibility and transparency of competency-based learning environments.