Competency-based learning
February 2nd, 2011 by Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

When we consider education based on achieving standards versus measuring performance, we start to rethink the way it looks. I’ve got to say, people talk about innovation, but making major changes in schools is a challenge. Read this (pretty progressive for a union president):

Once we free ourselves from a factory model and the time practices handcuffed
to that structure, we must rethink such unquestioned time-honored practices as:
• Grouping kids in grades;
• Grading as a way to communicate what has been learned;
• Moving kids around based on bell schedules;
• Separating subjects divided into discrete time blocks; and,
• Connecting high school graduation with Carnegie units.
Schools can no longer be expected to change and still look the same. It’s time to
get away from the legacy of the factory that imprisons us, as educators, as well as
the students we teach. We know that ‘a cage for every age’ is an archaic and dysfunctional
way to group students. It’s for us to start questioning the sacred rituals
of schools and school systems. We can use time as the catalyst to do just that.

– Dr. Ellen Bernstein, President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, Testimony at the
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Field Hearing on Innovative
Approaches to School Time, 2010

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