Building 21 is a co-designer of the Learning What Matters (LWM) Competency Framework, originally developed in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. On this page, you can access all of Building 21’s competency sets and progressions in published format. To access the Google Sheet versions of all current competency maps and continua, click here.



What is  a competency?

At Building 21, we define competencies as the essential skill-sets of postsecondary readiness. A competency always connects to a meaningful outcome that empowers learners. Currently, we organize competencies by discipline.

How is a competency structured?

Per the illustration below, a competency (1) is structured as a grouping of related skills (2) that cumulatively serve as a measure of a learner’s level of competence. Performance level descriptors (3) along a continuum help describe how each skill becomes more sophisticated as it develops toward mastery (4). Based on our most recent analysis, Level 10 represents “college ready” work and “Level 12” on our continuum represents “college-level” work.

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 are designed around one or more target competencies. All courses map to “course competencies.” Crediting requirements are based upon completion of a portfolio of evidence that maps to course competencies. Learning target definition, instructional planning, student feedback, and evaluation of student work are all based on the performance level descriptors of the continua. To learn more about adopting the Building 21 model or partnering with Building 21, please contact us at

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

Yes. The Learning What Matters (LWM) 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