What does a competency-based school look like?
Even with a clear definition, new data shows that practice varies widely on the ground.
In this article from the Christensen Institute, they discuss why it can be confusing if a school really is far advanced in certain areas. You will find information that says they are, but how do we know it is consistent? The article starts off by describing that educators’ expectations for a visit to a so-called “competency-based” school often turned out differently from what they witnessed in person. These interviews gave the institute a hunch that simply labeling schools “competency-based” didn’t go far enough to indicate what’s actually happening in the school.
You can see in the table below that 74.0 % of schools say they offer multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery, yet under 40 % of them report having flexible assessment scheduling or let students advance upon demonstrating mastery. I think that is the essence of any school reform. You change what goes on in your school, but consistency on all levels proves difficult. I am including the table below because I think it is important for schools planning to change towards a competency-based mastery system. All components need to be included.