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Competencies and Continua for Students

Our set of student competencies was originally developed in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. Today it is an essential part of our Lab Schools and all schools in…

Competencies and Continua for Teachers

The Building 21 Teacher Competencies were designed specifically for the Building 21 Competency Framework and learning model. Schools that adopt these competencies should modify the language to meet their needs.…

Competencies and Continua for Leaders

The Building 21 Leader Competencies were designed specifically for the Building 21 Competency Framework and learning model. Schools that adopt these competencies should modify the language to meet their needs.…

Getting Started with CBE Resources

This work is hard! When we started, there weren’t very many resources for us to use. That’s why we try to share as much as we can. We want to help you get started.

The Basics of Our Framework

What is a competency?

At Building 21, we define competencies as the essential skill-sets of post-secondary readiness. A competency always connects to a meaningful outcome that empowers learners.

How is a competency structured?

A competency is structured as a grouping of related skills that cumulatively serve as a measure of a learner’s level of mastery. Performance level descriptors along a continuum help describe how each skill becomes more sophisticated as it develops toward readiness. Based on our most recent analysis, the fifth level represents “college and career ready” work and the sixth level on our continuum represents “college-level” work. (You can view this in more detail on the animation below.)

What role do competencies play in the Building 21 model?

Competencies and competency progressions (“continua”) are the backbone of the Building 21 model. All units of study (studios) and performance tasks are designed around one or more target competencies. Learning targets, instructional planning, student feedback, and evaluation of student work are all based on the performance level descriptors of the continua. Crediting requirements are based upon completion of a competency portfolio of evidence that maps to a specific credit. To put it simply, completion of a portfolio equals a mastery credit.

Can I adopt these competencies and progressions for my own school or district?

Yes! The Building 21 Competency Framework is open for sharing under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). This means you may use all framework assets under the condition that the work is attributed and not used for commercial purposes. If you remix or adapt the work to fit your needs, you must share your work with the same license. For questions about access, adoption, partnership, or attribution, please contact us at info@b-21.org.

Can Building 21 help us on our CBE journey?

Absolutely! We work with schools of all types whether they are just starting their journey or if they have been on that path for a while and need help moving past some road blocks. Click here to learn more.

How do we track progress and growth of competencies?

One of the biggest challenges in a competency-based model is tracking and communicating progress and growth of the competencies. Many schools often compromise their vision because they can’t find a system or platform to help them communicate progress to students and families.

Our approach to platforms and dashboards might help you realize your transformation!

Learn more

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