Achieve Report - Competency-Based Pathways: The Imperative for State Leadership

Posted by Alexandra Kielty - On September 04, 2014 (EST)

In late July 2014, Achieve, the nonprofit organization “dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability,” released the policy brief “The Imperative for State Leadership,” the most recent publication in its Advancing Competency-Based Pathways To College and Career Readiness Series. The report maintains that the implementation of competency-based pathways (CBP) holds “great promise” for achieving the primary aims of the standards-based reform movement: Ensuring that “all students meet or exceed specific outcomes by high school graduation and … have equitable access and exposure to rich instruction and strong support to learn and demonstrate their learning.”

According to the report, in order to make sure that students are prepared to succeed in college and in their chosen occupations, states must move beyond providing students with a foundation of “minimal proficiency on basic academic standards,” and instead promote a “mastery of content and skills toward and beyond college and career readiness.” This new focus is essential, the report argues, because the current education system has “perpetuated learning gaps” that grow larger over time. As a result of this, many students never achieve the necessary resources to succeed in college or a career.

The report maintains that strong state leadership is critical to advancing CBP learning. Leaders must insist on “rigor throughout graduation requirements, assessment and accountability policies and implementation.” Simultaneously, they must avoid a one-size-fits-all approach because CBPs and states’ transitions to them will differ based on “state priorities and context.”

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Modified On : September 05, 2014
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