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Advice: Policies to Support Competency-Based Learning

Five Critical Issues to Transform K–12 Education


The Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL)'s Center for Policy works to support new learning models that allow personalization of instruction for each student and a shift towards competency education that will ensure teaching and learning are built on a foundation of true mastery. These advances have the potential to close achievement gaps, prepare more students for college and career, and reduce inequities in our education system.

However, this shift cannot be sustained without changes in state policy. Laws, rules, and regulations written in the analog era must be adapted to support new learning models. States must ensure that students have access to a wide range of choices across the learning continuum, that those choices are of high quality, and that the necessary supports and infrastructure — funding models, data systems, and broadband connectivity — are in place to enable highly personalized pathways. This policy brief provides concrete, actionable recommendations for state policymakers.

There are five key issues in the State Policy Framework:

  1. Create Competency-Based Education Systems
  2. Improve Student Access and Equity
  3. Measure and Assure Quality from Inputs to Outcomes
  4. Support Innovative Educators
  5. Support New Learning Models Through Connectivity, Data Systems, and Security