Since the competency-based approach focuses on students’ proficiency rather than their age, aligning with the age-based state assessments can be challenging. Westminster Public Schools in Colorado sought help identifying root causes for its performance challenges from a continuous improvement and accountability partner.
In 2009, Westminster Public Schools shifted to a competency-based system model. However, the district found it difficult to align with Colorado’s age-based assessments, and several schools were placed on the state’s accountability “clock.” Westminster turned to Cognia for help in identifying the root causes of the district’s performance challenges and to support the creation of a managed pathway plan focused on continuous improvement. The district came off the state clock in 2018, incorporated Cognia’s standards into other partners’ work, and became the first district to receive Cognia’s competency-based education certification. District leaders credit Cognia with supporting the innovative instructional model and working with them toward the shared goal of improvement.
The thing that intrigued me the most was that Cognia was looking at us through a lens of innovation instead of as a traditional system.”Dr. Pamela SwansonSuperintendent of SchoolsWestminster Public Schools, CO