Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A Tale of Three States

Published September 2016

Authored by Karla Phillips and Carri Schneider

Foundation for Excellence in Education in partnership with Getting Smart

Download the full paper here
Download the brief here

There is momentum growing in states across the U.S. to replace the traditional, time-based education model with a system that is better matched to the demands of the modern workforce.

Our current system, based on student progression through grade-leveled content based primarily on birthdates, has two primary design flaws. Some students are pushed forward when they are not yet ready while others are held back when they could be moving forward.

A growing number of educators, leaders and state policymakers are optimistic about the potential of Competency-Based Education (CBE) to close learning gaps,  boost college-and-career-readiness and build the foundation for personalized learning.

Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A Tale of Three States, produced by ExcelinEd in partnership with Getting Smart, highlights how and why state CBE pilot programs offer a promising strategy by telling the story of three states with the same goal, but different paths.

The three featured states–Idaho, Utah and Florida–had different entry points, different methods, different champions and different timelines. In addition to providing details on each state’s path to CBE pilots, the report offers the policy context, a timeline and key lessons from each state. While there is much variation in their stories, there are common themes that emerged and formed the basis of the report’s recommendations. These recommendations include prioritizing CBE communications and messaging, designing and passing pilot legislation and looking ahead to implementation.

Download Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A Tale of Three States 

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