Dumping the D-: What mastery learning looks like | Joanne

Windsor Locks students master a set of skills to pass courses.

In Windsor Locks, Connecticut, “24 credits and a D-minus average” aren’t good enough to earn a high school diploma, Superintendent Susan Bell tells Hechinger’s Tara Garcia Mathewson.

The small, formerly low-performing district has shifted to a “mastery” model, sometimes called “competency-based learning.” Coursework is broken down into skills. Students must learn the skills to move on to something new. If they need more time to reach mastery, that’s OK.

After five years, test scores are rising and the district no longer is…

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