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Building Consensus and Momentum: A Policy and Political Landscape for K-12 Competency Education


"A growing number of states and districts have embraced competency education, a new approach to teaching and learning that has the potential to solve the nations workforce challenges. Competency learning emphasizes student mastery, rather than seat time, to ensure every student demonstrates his or her knowledge and skill in a subject before advancing.

However, when KnowledgeWorks and Nellie Mae Education Foundation surveyed forward-thinking practitioners across the county, a majority of those surveyed said they are interested in competency learning, but have been unable to implement it in the classroom, school or district.

Competency education cannot be scaled unless policymakers address the barriers that make it challenging to transform teaching and learning. Barriers stem from federal laws that reinforce the traditional time-based elements and mandated statewide and federal testing systems.

In KnowledgeWorks first-ever e-book, authors address three policy areas to focus on in building an educational system that supports competency education. By focusing on these areas, states would be given the flexibility needed to innovate, evaluate and build systems that positively impact student achievement."