Seven key points about how The Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Warren Township in Indiana has implemented competency-based education.

A Closer Look at One Indiana School District’s Implementation Competency-Based Education

“This is a critical moment for the state of Indiana,” KnowledgeWorks Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Matt Williams told Indiana’s House Education Committee. “Moving HB 1386 forward would help establish Indiana as a leader in the personalized learning movement.”

I sat in the gallery and listened to testimony for Indiana’s new house bill, which introduces competency-based education pilot opportunities. After Matt wrapped up his comments, district leaders from The Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Warren Township spoke and answered questions about what competency-based learning looks like in their district, schools and classrooms. Here were my favorite takeaways from Warren Township:

  1. The MSD of Warren Township has a district-wide, working definition of personalized learning. This definition includes giving students what they need and incorporating a variety of voice and choice for students.
  2. Beyond the working definition, the district established guardrails, which they call the “Core Four.” The four components include: targeted small group discussions, data-driven decisions, student reflection and ownership, and integrated digital content. These “Core Four” must work in harmony for personalized learning to work.
  3. Educators had specific time to work together to decide how implementation of competency learning would look in their classrooms. Teachers had specific, carved-out collaboration time to build their own implementation models that incorporated the “Core Four.”
  4. Teachers are more satisfied in the classroom since CBE implementation. According to the testimony, 78 percent of educators say they are enjoying teaching more since implementation. Considering declining teacher retention in Indiana and throughout the country, district leaders were “ecstatic” to learn that teachers are finding greater satisfaction through personalized learning.
  5. Teachers feel that they are more effective educators through personalized learning. Through end-of-year qualitative surveys, the MSD of Warren Township has also learned that 96 percent of educators reported that they felt they were more effective in the classroom since implementation.
  6. Students are surveyed, as well. And 86 percent of those surveyed say they feel their teachers know them better since implementing personalized learning.
  7. The district is exceeding national norms around student achievement and growth. According to the testimony, the district was not exceeding national norms before implementation, as defined by the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAPs).

Interested in learning more? Check out the entire testimony or Matt’s reflection blog.

Mary Kenkel

Written by: Mary Kenkel

Mary Kenkel serves as the KnowledgeWorks Senior PR Specialist.

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