How Do States Launch Efforts for Competency-Based Education

by Chris Sturgis

Over the past 15 years there have multiple efforts by states to launch initiatives to modernize schools using the research on learning. Some introduce social-emotional learning. Some focus on personalization based on self-determination theory and others introducing more technology (which may or may not consider the research on learning in how it is used)…… Read More

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What Do We Know About CBE Through Evaluations?

by Chris Sturgis

This is an updated article originally published in 2019.

Where’s the beef?

Are you old enough to remember the Wendy’s slogan? It’s now a more general question about the value of any idea. Although I am an advocate for personalized, competency-based education, I also think we should be asking Where’s the beef?….. Read More

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Beyond $$: How to Sustain Competency-Based Education

by Chris Sturgis

Please note: This article is ever-under construction as everyone I talk with has another incredible valuable insight.

When it comes to creating state policy to sustain competency-based education (CBE is also fondly known as proficiency-, performance-, or mastery-based education), there seem to be two big questions that float among the halls and zoom-rooms of state leadership:

  1. How do states initiate or support schools that want to become CBE?….. Read More

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CBE in the News

by Chris Sturgis

Competency-based education has been getting attention in the mainstream media. First the Wall Street Journal did an indepth look at the growing interest in CBE and spoke with several leading schools/districts in How Schools Are Rewriting the Rules on Class Time for Students—and Even Ditching Grade Levels.  The Washington Post also covered the topic in Emerging from the pandemic,….. Read More

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What I Missed (Or Even Got Wrong)

by Chris Sturgis

“You t hink we are smart?” blurted one of the 6th graders. Two other heads swiveled around to listen. “I’m not!” declared one. “Why do you think we are smart?” asked the other.

Seeing my chance I enthusiastically declared, “Oh yeah! You are definitely all smart. I’ve only known you for a month and I can see that each of you are really smart and each of you have curiosity about different things” I had learned by now that at most I would have five precious moments of their attention…… Read More

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What Will Students Experience in a Competency-Based School?

What will students experience in a competency-based school?

Below are a set of examples of experiences that every student should have in a well-developed personalized, competency-based system that was developed through a collaborative experience at CompetencyWorks in 2018.

1. I will be fully supported in developing academic knowledge and skills,….. Read More

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Making Sense of the Research on Learning

A colleague scoffed the other day when I mentioned science of learning. It was the word ‘science” that drew the reaction as science had been used to harm people of color or justify their oppression. It’s been used against women as well. That’s why I have started to use the phrase ‘research on learning’….. Read More

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Steps Toward Maturity: Introducing the Concept of Student Autonomy (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, I call for us to be strategic in how we communicate the concepts related to student agency to the general public while also building a more precise understanding of what it means and how to help students develop the mindsets,….. Read More

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