Competency-Based Education in Three Pilot Programs
Aug 4, 2014
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 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation asked RAND to evaluate three competency-based education grants in terms of implementation, students' experiences, and student performance.
Examining Implementation and Outcomes
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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
The research described in this report was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was produced within RAND Education, a division of the RAND Corporation.
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