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ERIC Number: ED589907
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
Designing for Equity: Leveraging Competency-Based Education to Ensure All Students Succeed. CompetencyWorks Final Paper
Sturgis, Chris; Casey, Katherine
The role of public education has never been more important--it is the bedrock of democracy. The failure to provide an equitable public education that enables equal access to opportunity unravels the American dream. Competency-based education holds promise as a uniquely powerful model for fostering equity, but only if equity is an intentional design feature embedded in the culture, structure and pedagogy. Across the country, educators and policymakers are coming to the same conclusion: the structure of the traditional system is a barrier to equity. The premise of competency education is that the culture, structure and pedagogy of the traditional education system, having been designed to sort students, must be and can be replaced with culture, structure and pedagogy that are designed to ensure every student can succeed. Still, the question remains: How should equity be thought of in a personalized, competency-based system to ensure that every student is indeed successful? This paper seeks to explore the potential pitfalls and strategies to ensure a more equitable education system. The driving questions include: (1) How should equity be defined to be meaningful in a personalized, competency-based system?; (2) Why does the traditional education system need to change and how will competency-based systems offer more equitable learning environments?; (3) What principles or elements need to be in place to ensure that competency-based education fulfills its promise to offer a more equitable education system?; and (4) How can educators work together as a field to ensure that competency-based systems take full advantage of what is known about equity strategies to benefit all students, especially those who have been historically underserved? This paper begins with a vision and definition of educational equity. It then explains how the traditional system was designed to promote inequitable outcomes and how competency-based education differs from the traditional system. In section III, the authors introduce an equity framework for personalized, competency-based education. The authors include a discussion of each principle, examples of policies and practices that will help to create an equitable environment and examples of red flags of shallow or weak implementation. The last section provides recommendations for future action. A glossary is provided in the appendix to clarify the terms used in the paper.
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Nellie Mae Education Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Barr Foundation; Donnell-Kay Foundation; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Authoring Institution: CompetencyWorks; iNACOL