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DC State Board of Ed to Host a Summit on Graduation Requirements and Competency-Based Learning

Monday, June 30, 2014

For Immediate Release 

Contact:   Jesse B Rauch, Executive Director, 202.741.0884


Washington, DC – The District of Columbia State Board of Education (State Board) invites District of Columbia residents to participate in a summit on graduation requirements and competency-based learning. Both efforts form a foundation for improving high schools as well as encouraging personalized, deeper learning, student engagement, and success.  Maine now award diplomas based on proficiency and performance, not “seat time.” Other states have credit-flexibility policies. The State Board seeks broad public discussion about whether to adopt similar next-generation learning policies here.

The forum, funded by a stipend from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), caps two years of public meetings and community conversations by the State Board to revise high school graduation requirements. The proposed changes – which were submitted to the State Superintendent of Education in July 2013 – will help ensure students gain the skills and knowledge beyond the traditional core subjects that they need to thrive in today’s globally competitive economy. 

Research shows that completing a challenging, well-rounded curriculum builds a strong foundation for future success. The courses, experiences, and activities that compose this academic bedrock are expressed as “units” required for a high school diploma.

The proposed revisions maintain the District of Columbia’s current 24 credits – already among the nation’s highest – and preserve the “core four” in English/Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. However, the recommendations increase flexibility by allowing students to earn credit for learning done outside of school if they can demonstrate proficiency. In addition, the State Board proposes offering additional diploma options beyond the standard diploma.

At the summit, the State Board plans to outline a vision for next-generation learning that moves away from seat time toward a structure that creates flexibility for schools and allows students to progress at their own pace, as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time or place. It is an exciting shift that could transform teaching and learning, and thus merits robust public discussion.

When: July 9, 2014, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Dorothy Height/Benning Road Library, 3935 Benning Rd. NE (Minnesota Avenue Metro)

For more information, contact Jesse B Rauch, Executive Director for the D.C. State Board of Education at 202.741.0884 or [email protected].


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