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Tech Report  January 1, 2017

Issue Brief: Competency-Based Advancement



U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Issue Brief: Competency-Based Advancement. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service.


The brief describes the use of competency-based advancement as a dropout prevention strategy based on a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 U.S. public high schools. Competency-based advancement is a way for high school students to earn credit toward graduation through demonstrated mastery of content rather than through seat time and achievement tests that all students take at a specified time. A central goal of the competency-based advancement approach is to better engage and personalize students’ learning to ensure they can graduate from high school.

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