RLASD-116 Part of Competency-Based Graduation Pilot Program

RLASD-116 Part of Competency-Based Graduation Pilot Program

While some students need more time, others need less, so classroom structures and instructional practices need to change, said Susan Center, District 116 director of teaching and learning.

Algonquin-based Huntley Community School District 158 and Round Lake Area Unit District 116 are among 10 school districts chosen for a pilot program to test competency-based graduation requirements. Competency-based learning means educators assess and advance students based on demonstrated mastery of specific skills, abilities and knowledge instead of merely classroom time.

“It’s not about going faster,” State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said. “We are talking about deepening their experiences. For some kids, it may mean that they finish high school in less time, but for all children we hope that they will have more opportunities when they leave high school.”

Participating districts last week shared how far they have come in developing plans for next school year.

This fall, officials aim to begin developing personalized learning plans for students starting in sixth grade, provide more flexible class scheduling, and develop extensive internship, job shadowing and service partnerships

Round Lake High School began using standards-based grading and mastery learning about seven years ago as part of an overhaul to boost lagging student achievement.

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Janet Powers says:

Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? If you’re not competent in a subject are you supposed to just be passed along?

Tom Larsen says:

Standards based grading is what common core is based on. Remember that the next time someone bad-mouths common core.

It is sad that the MAP test is not consistent with the grades the children receive. The counselors I have met are not concerned with the children succeeding. They state that all children can not take classes every period they must have a free period. Free period does not mean they are forced to have a study hall. I spoke with the principle regarding this rule since my child was receiving good grades and wanted an extra class, why not? Homework is not a big deal and neither is the final exam. They are just trying to push the children out their doors. I feel if they go somewhere else besides CLC, since they are on the same system, they will struggle. I wished we had more teachers who actually wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. Make them see their true potential and challenge them.

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