The newest fad in education — and why some teachers find it troubling

Summary:  It’s called “competency-based learning” and its the newest thing in education. What is it? Who likes it? Who doesn’t and why?  On its face, competency-based learning sounds good. Students learn material and move on when they have mastered the material, going at their own pace. But how exactly do students get this sort of education and what are the consequences?

Source:  Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, February 27, 2016

Categories:  Student Achievement, Standardized Testing, Technology


Veteran educator Anthony Cody writes…”We have been badgered for the past 14 years by reformers insisting on the fierce urgency of change, and they have had their way — twice! First, seven years of the test-centric No Child Left Behind, followed by the past seven years of Race to the Top, and now the “next generation” of tests, which were promised to be “smarter,” computer-adapted, and deliver results more quickly. None of it worked. Scores on the independent National Assessment of Educational Progress tests are flat or down. The SBAC and PARCC Common Core-aligned tests are more difficult without being any “smarter” in telling us about what our students can do. The idea that these tests could somehow promote and measure creativity and critical thinking is debunked. The growing “opt out” movement poses a huge threat to the standardized testing “measure to manage” paradigm.”

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