School lumps by ability, not age


A novel approach to education with no grades and no grade levels.

The RISC Approach to Schooling is a revolutionary approach to education that represents a dramatic shift in the educational process. The RISC approach is the first comprehensive school reform framework set up as a performance-based system rather than a  time-based system. Already being implemented by more than a dozen schools and districts in the United States, RISC has caught the attention of educators in countries around the world who see it as a pathway for delivering on the promise of education for every student.

Educators in many countries are discussing how to make school more engaging for the students, and how to avoid dropouts. In the OECD report ” Improving Lower Secondary Schools in Norway” 2011, they state the following:

  • School practices often fail to engage all students. On average in OECD countries, one in four students is disengaged with school at age 15. There seems to be a gap between what is taught and the practices most likely to engage students. In addition, this could be a result of students not having consolidated a set of basic skills during primary education.

The Norwegian Ministry of Education recently published Report nr. 22 called “Motivation, mastery and possibilities“, aimed at improving lower secondary schools in Norway.

A CNN news crew spent the day at Hodgkins Elementary in April 2011 to profile the Standards-based System and listen to parents, students, teachers and administrators.Seems to me that this approach is worth looking into. It is known as standards based learning, modeled on the belief every child learns in their own way. Students are grouped based on what they know, not on how old they are, and the advance in the system only when they know the material. A way to ensure that all students acquire the set of basic skills they need during primary education.

CNN’s Deb Feyerick reports.

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