Illuminating College and Career Readiness in Competency-Based Pathways: Guidance on School Report Cards

Wednesday, March 16, 2016Printer-friendly version

In an era when many districts and states are beginning to explore competency-based pathways (CBP), states have the opportunity to rethink public reporting systems to draw attention to key indicators of student performance and progress. CBP systems require that teachers regularly monitor student progress toward meeting the standards and use these determinations to decide when students are ready to advance to more challenging content and skills. States and districts committed to implementing CBP have an opportunity to shift, expand and share information about student progress with teachers, parents, students, and policymakers. Traditional indicators, including student performance on statewide summative assessments, year-to-year growth, and graduation outcomes are still critical—however, additional indicators, such as the ones described below, can provide rich information about student performance within a CBP system.

In an effort to provide guidance to states and districts on what public reporting in a CBP system might look like, Achieve has developed a sample CBP school report card; this is meant to be a starting point for interested states and districts to use and modify to best fit their own context and needs. The report card identifies key indicators to describe how well a fictitious school is preparing all students for college and careers. This report card goes beyond articulating student academic achievement at one point in time during the school year and describes the progress made over the course of the year, the rate at which students are learning, whether students are exceeding expectations by demonstrating deep mastery of standards, and whether students are going beyond high school graduation requirements by earning college credit. Public reporting should draw attention to the performance of not only full cohorts, but also individual student subgroups. In the sample CBP report card, disaggregated data is reported as both percentages and the number of students, in an effort to make the data more fine-grained and increase the sense of urgency to address the needs of all students.