Competency-Based Education in Three Pilot Programs: What It Is, How It's Implemented, and How It's Working
Aug 4, 2014
In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created the Project Mastery grant program to support competency-based education initiatives in large school systems that serve a high proportion of disadvantaged youth. Competency-based education meets students where they are academically, provides students with opportunities for choice, and awards credit for evidence of learning, not for the time students spend studying a subject. The Foundation asked RAND to evaluate these efforts in terms of implementation, students' experiences, and student performance. This report presents final results from that evaluation, offering an overview of competency-based education and the Project Mastery grant projects and describing the implementation of competency-based educational features under each project. The report concludes with six lessons for policy, partnerships, and practice.
Evaluation Settings and Methodological Approach
Intervention Development and Implementation
Tensions in the Implementation of Competency-Based Models
Students' Experiences in the Project Mastery Pilot Classes
Student Outcomes in the Project Mastery Sites