A few state departments of education are starting to seriously consider how best to answer the questions, What do we want our students to know? and What do we want them to be able to do?
P-12 school districts have had these questions front and center on their minds for years–but it’s taken much longer for many state officials to get on board. While most states still cling to the decades-old traditional model of education that equivocates contact hours and seat time to learning, some more progressive states are looking at changing that model–to one of proficiency-based learning, sometimes called competency-based learning. One such example comes from Maine, which has mandated that all P-12 school districts have a standards-based assessment model in place by 2021. In fact, Maine has been a pioneer in this arena, in that it was the very first state to require its students to demonstrate their proficiency (or competency) in order to be awarded a high school diploma. The state has put its money on the table to support this initiative by providing a $162 million increase in funding over the next two years. Maine’s goal is to graduate students who possess both the conceptual understanding and skill sets needed to enter the next phase of their lives, whether it be in the workforce in in college.
Why isn’t this a national trend? What’s holding state department officials in other states back? Why are educational innovation and disruption buzz words that are often used today, and yet rarely supported?
For those representing P-12 school districts or state departments of education who are truly interested in real educational reform through proficiency-based or competency-based education, support is only a mouse click or a phone call away. Global Educational Consulting can help set up standards-based curriculum, write competencies, create assessments, train faculty, manage data, and the like. Reach out and let’s begin the journey toward academic excellence.