Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education 

Progress and Proficiency

by: Chris Sturgis

Pretty decent paper on traditional grading systems vs. competency grading. It quotes The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Khan quite a bit. My critique is this focus on gaps in knowledge. People seem to be so concerned with gaps in knowledge. Here is my perspective. As you get older the importance of the gaps in knowledge goes down because (presumably) your ability to learn goes up. In other words, we start to learn different skills that allow us to learn new things, learn from others, rely on others, work with others, apply different skills, etc. When kids are young, it is really important for them to receive a solid grounding in numeracy and literacy. Some of those basic skills are absolutely necessary in order to construct more advanced knowledge. A 17-18 year old does not need to know chemistry, physics, calculus, advanced algebra, classic literature, the history of everything from 10000bc to now, biology, etc.


That word is key to this conversation. What do they NEED? My answer? They NEED to be exposed to experiences and opportunities that allow them to find their passion. Gaps in knowledge are allowed and expected.

The big question? If we assume that’s true…

What in the world does graduation look like?