2020 Aurora Institute Symposium

October 26 - 28, 2020
12:00 PM to 3:00 PM

KnowledgeWorks and partners are hosting sessions at the 2020 Aurora Institute Symposium. Are you joining?

Systems Change: Bright Spots in Driving Collective Change

Keynote – October 26, 2020 | 12:00 – 12:50 PM ET

Partner Oscar Santos, Executive Director, Center for Collaborative Education will be joining Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Mastery Transcript Consortium, and Rachael Stephens, program director of Workforce Development and Economic Policy National Governors Association Center For Best Practices for the keynote.

Join this keynote presentation of bright spots — programs and initiatives from organizations driving innovations for equity at the local, state, and national levels — to accelerate education systems change. Be inspired by leaders as they share deep shifts in thinking to create more innovative approaches to address long-standing issues and tackle problems in novel ways. The session will highlight their work and offer snapshots to build knowledge on promising work across the field to support equity-driven, future-focused education.

Bright Spots from Personalized, Competency-Based Districts and Schools Across the USA

Keynote – October 27, 2020 | 12:15 – 1:15 PM ET

Our Learning Community Northern Cass School District #97 will be joining this session.

District and school leaders across the United States developed inspiring solutions to shift to anytime, anywhere learning on a moment’s notice during COVID-19. These educators are leading the way, stepping up, collaborating, and engaging students in new ways. Join this Bright Spots keynote to hear from educators who are sharing best practices, supporting and inspiring one another across networks, learning as their journeys continue, and reflecting with each other to expand their student-centered learning designs in new and creative ways.

An Introduction to K-12 Competency-Based Education

Breakout Session – October 27, 2020 | 1:30-2:30 PM ET Symposium 2020

KnowledgeWorks Community Fellow Travis Lape will co-present at this breakout session.

Competency-based education is a system designed to ensure equity for all students to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for college and career success. This session will introduce the rationale for transforming to competency-based systems and discuss key strategies such as cultural responsiveness, building student agency, advancing based on mastery, varied pacing and pathways, and meaningful assessment. We will also discuss resources and policies that support effective implementation.

Session Learning Outcomes:

Understand the rationale for and elements of competency-based education. Build awareness of resources and policies that enable implementation of competency-based education. Identify strategies to deepen your setting’s competency-based transformation.

Positioning Competency-Based Education as an Equity Strategy: Theory, Practice, and Evidence to Push the Field

Breakout Session – October 28, 2020 | 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM ET

KnowledgeWorks’ Eric Toshalis and Virgel Hammonds will be hosting this breakout session.

Competency-based education (CBE) can ensure high levels of success among traditionally under-served students. This session will explore CBE as an equity strategy that may be used to dismantle tracking regimes and enhance culturally-sustaining pedagogies; how to avoid using CBE in ways that exacerbate inequities; and a research agenda for capturing implementations that produce disproportionately positive impacts among under-served populations.

Session Learning Outcomes:

  1. Be able to describe how CBE can be a de-tracking/equity strategy, based on research, theory, and implementation stories from KnowledgeWorks partnerships.
  2. Leave with a greater understanding of the indicators that may be used to capture whether and how much a CBE intervention promoted equity in specific populations.
  3. Be able to apply targeted “look-fors” when assessing how well a school or system is implementing CBE as an equity strategy.

Top Trends for the Future of K-12 Education: A Path Forward & Equitable Futures

Closing Keynote – October 28, 2020 | 2:15 – 3:00 PM ET

KnowledgeWorks’ Virgel Hammonds will join Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s Nicholas C. Donohue, Aurora Institute’s Susan Patrick and National Geographic‘s Felicia Cumings Smith for the closing keynote.

The future is not predetermined; we are charged with creating it. Global and national trends are inspiring new ways of thinking about redesigning education so all youth can achieve success, contribute to their communities, and advance society. As education leaders, we are tasked with disrupting the structural inequities driving the education systems we’ve inherited and ensure each child has what they need to develop their full academic, social, and personal capacity. Join this inspirational closing keynote on the top 10 trends for advancing future-focused, equity-driven, student-centered education systems.


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