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Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems

Levers and Logic Models: A Framework to Guide Research and Design of High-Quality Competency-Based Education Systems, uses logic model frameworks to convey relationships between essential levers (outcomes, drivers and mediating factors) that inform the design of competency-based education systems and critical components of competency-based practice at four interdependent levels (student experience, professional practice of educators, district and school systems and culture). Logic models are tools used to conceptualize organizations, programs or strategies to bring about change and to support the evaluation of effectiveness.

Read/download the report at

Sketchbooks. Makerspaces. Student Startups. Inside America's Largest Personalized Learning Experiment, How One Rhode Island 'Lighthouse Laboratory' Is Reimagining School

As personalized learning has gained traction nationally, Rhode Island has become a leader in the field after launching a statewide initiative in 2016 under Gov. Gina Raimondo's Office of Innovation.

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Image: Sixth-grade students in a math class at Barrington Middle School in Rhode Island learn about ratios by designing makerspaces for the school’s new building. (Credit: Kate Stringer)

Entrance Tickets to Drive Learning Plans

CICS West Belden began its personalized learning journey by recognizing that students were not highly engaged in their own learning process, and that student growth had stalled. The team identified competency-based learning as an opportunity to address these two issues. By focusing on competency, students are empowered to recognize their own level of proficiency, demonstrate their ability, and advocate for the type of learning they need to progress.

Entrance Tickets to Drive Learning Plans from LEAP Innovations on Vimeo.

Assessment - Mastery-Based Learning

accurate, credible and useful student assessment information plays an essential role in supporting learning. Assessments should be a meaningful learning experience for students, provide rich information to educators so they can provide targeted support to students, and send students and parents clear signals about students' readiness for next steps. Assessment systems should be designed to help monitor the quality and consistency of determinations about whether a student is ready to move on and signal rigorous definitions of mastery or proficiency. Assessments should vary enough to reflect the personalization inherent in different pathways yet be comparable enough to ensure quality.

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Planning for Proficiency: Planning Backward

Unit Design in a Proficiency-Based Learning System

Great Schools Partnership logo

What does it mean to ensure that all students meet the standards for graduation? How will teaching and learning be different? How will students and teachers engage with each other in the day-to-day classroom? How will classroom practice change to ensure a more equitable, personalized, and rigorous learning environment? The GSP "Moving from Standards to Practice in a Proficiency-Based System" graphic provides a framework for a "backward-planning" model of unit design that guides students' achievement of graduation standards in a supportive, personalized environment. 

View/Download the Planning for Proficiency brief by Great Schools Partnership

Flex time: Schools break out of scheduling ruts to improve learning for students, teachers

by: Linda Jacobson @lrj417

Newer designs accommodate instructional needs and teach students time management skills.

With more schools shifting some portion of student learning to online platforms, administrators and teachers are finding that the traditional six- or seven-period day in high schools and some middle schools no longer meets their needs. Just as schools are redesigning spaces to accommodate today's learners, they are also implementing innovative schedules that allow for the type of flexibility that both students and teachers want.

Read the complete article on EducationDIVE


iNACOL Teacher Talk Webinar
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Strategies for Teachers to Develop Global Citizenship in Students

Thursday, December 14, 2017
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

On Thursday, December 14, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, iNACOL is hosting a Teacher Talk webinar to share strategies teachers can use to develop important global citizenship skills and dispositions in students through personalized, competency-based learning models.

Visit iNACOL to register or for more information. 

8 Things to Look For in a Student-Centered Learning Environment
Elementary school children and teachers in classroom

When you walk into a school, what do you look for? When envisioning what type of learning environment is ideal for your child or the students you work with, what are the most important characteristics? What are the most positive, memorable experiences from your own schooling?

Read the complete article on Getting Smart

Shifting Paradigms: Moving from an Instructional Paradigm to a Learning Paradigm

The instructional paradigm, still in place in most schools, was primarily designed to support the function of teaching, or more specifically, the delivery of information from instructor to student. For practical reasons the design favored efficiency, which led to batch processing of students, segmentation of content areas, and credits based on seat time.

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Variability Matters
Speaker on stage


The myth of the average learner and its impact on schools is presented along with assumptions about learning and new strategies to consider when designing learning opportunities for students.

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Does Competency-Based Education Make the Grade
Student writing on a white board

A decade ago, the state board of education required local districts to adopt this approach, and since then, districts have been making the switch.  We'll find out what competency-based education really it's working at the classroom level....and whether it's living up to promises made.

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The Graduate Profile: A Focus on Outcomes
Illustration of educational elements

These profiles help schools direct resources toward building student competencies. See how they work.

By Ken Kay

Unlike a mission or vision statement, a graduate profile is a document that a school or district uses to specify the cognitive, personal, and interpersonal competencies that students should have when they graduate. Co-created with input from key stakeholders, this profile is a clear visualization of priority goals for teaching and learning that can be easily communicated to students, parents, faculty, and staff to align their collective efforts. Until you identify and prioritize these competencies for your school or district, you won't have a shared vision of your destination.

Read the complete article on Edutopia

Personalized Learning: The Importance of Teachers in a Technology Driven World
Students at desk working on their tablets

In today's technology-driven world, teachers may no longer be the sole keepers of knowledge in the classroom. The introduction of one-to-one initiatives, online classrooms, blended-learning models, and the overall rise of technology in classrooms allow for students to have far more access to constant information than past generations. Personalized learning thrives in this technology-rich environment, but is insufficient on its own to revolutionize a student's classroom experience.

Read the complete article online at the Brookings Institution

Five Examples of Effective School Communication Strategies, on Five Different Platforms
Abstract illustration of person speaking and person listening

Communicating effectively to people throughout your school district presents several challenges. What's your message, who needs to hear what and, more and more, what vehicle is the most appropriate for each message. As digital platforms proliferate, things can be both quicker and easier. The challenge remains as it always has, though: how do you make best use of the marketing vehicle to deliver your message?

Visit for the complete article.