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Measuring Student Progress And Teachers' Assessment Of Student Knowledge In A Competency-Based Education System

Abstract

"Competency-based education is a system where students must demonstrate mastery of course content to be promoted to the next class or grade, with students allowed to take as much or as little time necessary to achieve a comprehensive understanding of course content, rather than spend a prerequisite number of hours in a class. Students are placed into a class based on their current level of understanding rather than their traditional, age-based grade. This report describes how long students took to complete a competency-based class when they were in a class that was below, at, or above their traditional grade level. The report also examines the relationship between teachers' judgments of student competency and student performance on a state achievement test. The study found that the majority of students took four academic quarters to complete a class. On average, students who were below grade level took less time to complete their classes than students who were in a class that corresponded to their traditional grade level. Teacher ratings of student competency had a small but positive association with student academic achievement and predicted the state academic proficiency levels of 40 percent of mathematics students and 59 percent of literacy students. As school and district leaders implement or contemplate implementing competency-based education, this report provides information about how a competency-based education system in one district operates."

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