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ERIC Number: ED561316
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change. CompetencyWorks Issue Brief
Worthen, Maria; Pace, Lillian
International Association for K-12 Online Learning
This paper provides federal policymakers and advocates with comprehensive, big-picture ideas for transforming federal policy to support the transition to competency-based learning. It is meant to start a dialogue on these issues, posing important questions to explore as policymakers contemplate a new vision for federal education policy through the next reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This paper is divided into four chapters; each addresses a different federal policy domain: (1) Accountability; (2) Systems of Assessments; (3) Supports and Interventions; and (4) Data Systems. Each chapter in this paper follows a similar structure, opening with a big idea to help the reader envision its relationship to a new policy framework for competency education. It then frames the issue, enhanced by a sidebar with a more detailed vision of what the issue would look like in a transformed federal system. The core of each chapter includes a list of federal policy barriers and a menu of policy actions to support the transition to competency education. These policy recommendations include immediate actions that stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels can implement under current law. The chapters conclude with case studies of early adopters who are finding ways to implement competency education in states, districts, and schools thanks to, or often in spite of, federal policy. Each chapter ends with a list of questions for further discussion. As policymakers and stakeholders at all levels of the system collaborate on a plan for scaling this work, they should commit to three important goals: (1) To address the system holistically, not one issue or piece of the system at a time; (2) To embed strategies for continuous improvement into every level of the system, investing in the research, dissemination, and scale of best practices; and (3) To design a system that puts students at the center so every program helps produce graduates who will excel in college, careers, and beyond. Adherence to these goals will ensure that policy and practice work together to build a system that will sustain the workforce for generations to come. Contains a list of recommended readings and resources.
International Association for K-12 Online Learning. 1934 Old Gallows Road Suite 350, Vienna, VA 22182. Tel: 888-956-2265; Tel: 703-752-6216; Fax: 703-752-6201; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Association for K-12 Online Learning; CompetencyWorks
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; Michigan; New Hampshire; Rhode Island
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act