KnowledgeWorks and The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) today released a new report which provides a comprehensive vision for supporting state and local efforts to implement student-centered learning through competency education, where learning is the constant and time is the variable. The report, A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change
, describes barriers and opportunities which federal policy makers and advocates can leverage to help catalyze change in our K-12 education system.
“We must take a serious step to reframe quality, accountability, and access to ensure that each and every student is prepared for their future,” said Lillian Pace, report co-author and Senior Director of National Policy for KnowledgeWorks. “A growing number of districts and states have begun to think about the next step to increase equity, rigor, and relevance in the system, and their success rests heavily on federal adoption of a new student-centered policy framework that will advance the growth of competency education.”
“The world is rapidly changing, and we must ensure that our education system prepares every student to succeed, no matter where they live or what challenges they face,” said co-author Maria Worthen, iNACOL’s Vice President for Federal and State Policy. “It is time to move away from traditional assumptions about how schools should look, how teachers should teach, and how students should learn.”
The report identifies four specific areas of focus:
- Federal accountability policies should incent districts, schools, and educators to use real-time, individual student data to tailor instruction, supports, and interventions to ensure that each student is on pace to graduate with mastery of college- and career-ready standards and aligned competencies.
- Flexible, balanced systems of assessments should measure mastery of competencies aligned to standards, with multiple measures, performance assessments, and evidence providing educators with a data-driven guide for prioritizing continuous improvement of student learning to ensure that every student is on pace to graduation.
- The federal government should support states and districts in the development and implementation of a proactive system of supports and interventions that use real-time data to help students advance to college and career readiness through learning experiences aligned to their personalized learning pathways.
- Student-centered data systems should collect, report, and provide transparent information on where every student is along a learning trajectory based on demonstrating high levels of competency, to help educators customize learning experiences to ensure that every student can master standards and aligned competencies. Data should provide useful information for improving teaching and learning, as well as for accountability and quality purposes.
KnowledgeWorks is a national nonprofit organization advancing a future of learning that ensures each student graduates ready for what’s next. For nearly 20 years, we’ve been partnering with states, communities and leaders across the country to imagine, build and sustain vibrant learning communities. Through evidence-based practices and a commitment to equitable outcomes, we’re creating the future of learning, together. www.knowledgeworks.org