Concord, NH – on Tuesday, February 6, Demonstrated Success held a panel and workshop on a growing national educational movement known as competency-based or proficiency-based education. The competency-based model focuses on having students demonstrate mastery of clearly articulated learning goals, with an emphasis on developing 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.
Over 100 New Hampshire educators attended this forum, Superintendents to grade-level teachers. Questions were addressed by a panel of six experts from New England states. The panel discussion focused on how to catalyze change for all stakeholders in the school community, improve learning outcomes for all students, implement instruction and assessment practices that allow for real-world learning, and including students in defining and implementing school transformation. The panelists emphasized that competency-based learning is not a grading initiative, although it is sometimes misunderstood as one. Panelists also explained that a robust and unique communications plan that explains this transition to all stakeholders (students, teachers, and parents) alleviates barriers to implementation.
As described by panelist Dave Williams, Principal of Belmont High School, Belmont, NH, “in a traditional system, grades are mathematically calculated whereas in a competency-based system grades are criterion-based.
CBE requires measurement of a student’s academic performance on clearly articulated learning targets that must be mastered before that student moves on.”
“Teachers and administrators across New Hampshire are working hard to implement practices of Competency Based Education in the best interest of their students. Our team at Demonstrated Success held today’s panel to support their efforts,” expanded Karen Matso, Demonstrated Success’ Director of Professional Development.
New Hampshire is a national leader in Competency Based Learning. The state is one of a handful that has mandated that high school graduation transcripts reflect instruction, assessment and reporting that aligns with a competency model.
Asked about the value she gleaned from the day, one workshop participant responded, “I am going home tonight and changing my lesson for tomorrow. I will be totally explicit about the goal for the lesson and let students explore much more than I have in the past.”
Demonstrated Success, LLC, based in Rye NH, is an educational consultant company with over 50 years of combined direct classroom experience. Its mission is to guide educators through ever-shifting priorities to improve student learning.