Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning
This International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) report proposes a state-policy framework for performance-based learning, which would allow students to advance from grade-to-grade and course-to-course based on subject mastery as opposed to seat time. (At present, performance-based learning is predominantly delivered through digital and blended approaches.) The report’s policy proposals are sound, if somewhat obvious. But that’s not all this publication offers. For one, it serves up in-depth case studies of a handful of exemplar states, including Alabama, New Hampshire, and Oregon—articulating the positive elements of these states’ policies and where they could still be improved. Second, Susan Patrick, the report’s author and iNACOL’s president, troubleshoots potential hiccups in implementing performance-based learning, framing six emerging challenges and offering specific state-policy design elements addressing each. For example, one potential concern with performance-based learning is how to create a student-centered accountability model. In order to do so, she argues, states should move from once-annually testing regimes to more frequent modularized testing. Anyone who thinks digital learning is poised to play a big role in our K-12 system going forward (and that should mean all of you!) ought to give this piece of work a look.
Susan Patrick, “Cracking the Code: Synchronizing Policy and Practice for Performance-Based Learning,” (Vienna, VA: International Association for K-12 Online Learning, July 2011).
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