Lillian Pace

About Lillian Pace

Senior Director of National Policy, KnowledgeWorks

Competency Education State by State

Competency education, and the policies supporting its growth in K-12 education, continues to advance in states around the country. For those not familiar with competency education, here is a working definition of the concept from iNACOL and CCSSO: Students advance Continue reading


New Report on Competency Education – Building Capacity for Systems Change

Have you ever wondered what it would take to redesign the education system so it relies less on grade levels, credit hours, and traditional classroom-based instruction and focuses more on the individual needs and interests of students? If so, I encourage you to read a new report titled, A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change written by myself, and my brilliant co-author, Maria Worthen of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). Continue reading


Innovation Spotlight: Kentucky’s Districts of Innovation

Thanks to landmark legislation enacted in 2012 (House Bill 37), every district in Kentucky had the opportunity to apply to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to become a District of Innovation. The legislation, which was modeled after charter school laws in other states, promised districts relief from a number of regulatory and legislative barriers in exchange for an innovative proposal to reimagine teaching and learning. Continue reading


A New Policy Framework for Advancing Competency Education

This framework is meant to “assist states in building a policy structure that contributes to statewide adoption and implementation of competency-based pathways (CBP) that support ALL students in reaching college and career readiness, as defined by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).” This framework is meant to drive action, making it a great resource for state policymakers, or anyone, interested in charting a practical course towards competency education. Continue reading


NextGen Learning Challenge Grants Announced

In partnership with the Charlotte County Family YMCA in Florida and the S.A.I.L. Charter Academy, NTN is planning an innovative blended-learning, competency-based school that stays true to the New Tech deeper learning design principles and significantly expands the use of online learning to help every student be college and career ready.” Continue reading


All Politics Aside: Five Points of Agreement on ESEA Reauthorization

Democrats stood by their 1,000+ page bill which would largely stay the course on U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s waiver strategy. Republicans, on the other hand, made the case for a smaller federal presence in education. Despite these differences, there were some striking similarities among the two proposals which warrant some mention. Continue reading


Federal Innovation Competitions: A Catalyst for Competency Education

Given the strong demand from the field, it’s encouraging to see the federal government exploring policies to provide states and districts with the flexibility to implement competency education at scale. Continue reading


Systems Change – Five New England States at a Time

A truly remarkable education transformation is underway in five New England states – CT, ME, NH, RI, and VT – inspired by the idea that every child can graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge to succeed in life. This transformation – called proficiency-based learning (aka: competency, mastery, or standards-based) – flips the education system on its head, providing multiple pathways, extra time, and intensive supports for a truly customized learning experience. Continue reading


The Emerging Federal Role for Competency Education

KnowledgeWorks’ sheds light on this challenge in our first competency education policy brief released today: An Emerging Federal Role for Competency Education. The goals of this publication are to not only familiarize policymakers with the paradigm shift happening in K-12 schools across the country, but to also bring to the forefront the fact that federal law makes it challenging for a state, district, or school to pursue this approach Continue reading