Just read a great article Four years later, a district’s standards-based reform evolves and pays off which tells a great story that I want to share. The story by EdNEws Colorado begins:
“In 2009, a Colorado school district in turnaround took a leap: it abandoned traditional K-12 grade levels and instead implemented a system that advances students based on how well they do rather than how long they sit in class.
Administrators and teachers staked the struggling district on the “standards-based education” gamble, and four years later — after lots of tinkering — it looks like they won.”
This extensive article provides lots of detail about the Adams 50 School District’s “competency-based system”. The district has 10,000 students who “advance through academic levels once they demonstrate competency in the subject, not once the school year is over. When school starts again, students pick up where they left off.”
This is exciting. The article brings my readers up to date on this trend toward proficiency-based teaching and learning and refers to the proficiency-based program in Chugach, Alaska that I’ve discussed in earlier blogs. The article showed that there were bumps along the way but shows that four years after they started things have improved and district-wide gaps have been closing.
What we should all be happy about is that this new improved approach really works. The article says, “Perhaps most importantly, administrators and teachers say the system addresses the achievement gaps more easily ignored in traditional education systems, because students can’t progress until they’ve demonstrated proficiency — and the system allows schools to narrow those gaps sooner rather than later.” That is good news!
Posted by Mr. Mark Siegel on Thursday May 30, 2013 at 05:51PM