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It's Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit


"From Anchorage, Alaska, to Orlando, Florida, and from Gray, Maine, to Yuma, Arizona, one hundred competency-based innovators gathered at the Competency-Based Learning Summit in March 2011. Sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), the Summit was developed in response to the findings in the report "When Success Is the Only Option: Designing Competency-Based Pathways for Next Generation Learning." The 2010 scan of the field of competency-based innovation found that the pockets of innovation across the country were too often operating in general isolation. By bringing together the leaders in the field, CCSSO and iNACOL set out to expedite building the capacity to meet the growing demand for competency-based approaches.

The Summit, the first step toward building the infrastructure to expedite competency-based approaches, was designed around three goals:
  • Sharing expertise across innovators and policy leaders
  • Building a common working definition of competency-based learning
  • Enhancing strategies for advancing competency-based options

Although it would be impossible to capture the Summit's cascade of ideas, this paper highlights the key issues raised to support the advancement of competency-based learning. A complementary paper, "Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning," provides a more in-depth look at the state policy issues discussed at the Summit."