Competency Based Education Training & Consulting

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Proficiency Scales in Standards-Based and Competency-Based Systems

The foundation of a system of competency-based education and personalized learning is a set of measurement topics and proficiency scales. Measurement topics define what will be assessed at each grade level and content area. Proficiency Scales define mastery and allow increased levels of reliability and validity in student assessments, assessments, whether common benchmark or classroom assessments.  Empower Learning measurement experts can help you create your own scales or lead you through customizing purchased scales to fit your unique local needs.

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Learning Outcomes:

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Understand the research behind measurement topics and proficiency scales.

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Learn what standards-referenced grading is, and why it’s foundational to the transition to competency-based/personalized learning.

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Understand how proficiency scales contribute to a student-centered system rooted in transparency and equity.

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Learn how proficiency scales are used to guide instructional decisions, including grouping and regrouping.

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Create proficiency scales based on prioritized standards.

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Understand how proficiency scales guide playlist creation and grading practices within Empower’s LMS (for those adopting Empower’s LMS).

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Classroom Assessment Using Proficiency Scales

Assessment in a competency-based system allows for greater teacher flexibility.
When student performance is measured against a proficiency scale that articulates progressive levels of what a student should know and be able to do, we are simply building a body of evidence, gathering student data to answer the question, “What does this student know now?” In this training, participants will learn a multitude of assessment types, including non-traditional assessments like probing discussions, demonstrations, observations, student-generated assessments, and the use of personal tracking matrices. Ultimately, participants will learn to “assess more;
test less.”

Learning Outcomes:

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Understand traditional and non-traditional assessment types, and their appropriateness for different levels of proficiency scales.

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Learn how to design assessment items aligned to proficiency scales.

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Use assessment to determine a student’s “zone of proximal development,” guiding instructional decisions tailored to individual student needs.

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Understand how to create, deliver, and score assessments directly within the Empower LMS, as well as how to create an ever-growing bank of standards-aligned assessment items.

Empower Proficiency Scale Support and Customization

CCBE's proficiency scales are available, free of charge, to all Empower LMS clients. The scales address content-level and grade-level expectations for K-12 core content areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. CCBE proficiency scales also cover K-12 health, performing arts, visual arts, physical education, world languages (Spanish, French, Japanese). The proficiency scales also identify taxonomy levels within the levels of the scales. CCBE experts can help clients adopt and adapt the  scales to fit local needs.

Learning Outcomes:

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Align the CCBE proficiency scales to state standards, identifying any gaps.

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Customize the 2.0 level content.

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Learn how to create proficiency scales for content areas where the alignment with state standards reveals gaps.

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Learn how to create measurement topics and proficiency scales for any content areas not covered by the CCBE scales, such as Career and Technical Education, etc. 

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Honor existing scale work, by thoughtfully integrating district/school-created scale content with CCBE scales content.

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Marzano Growth Calculator
 and Custom Report

Dr. Marzano will guide your team in the setup and use of Growth Calculator, and help your team interpret the results of a customized report based on your data.

Guidance and support include:

Creating a proficiency scale for a unit of instruction that will be taught by a group of teachers.

Creating a common pretest and posttest using the proficiency scale.

Administering and scoring the pretest at the beginning of the unit and posttest at the end of the unit.

Having teachers create and score their own interim classroom assessments.

For each student, computing the most precise estimate of their true scores using mathematical models.

Computing growth scores that are comparable across students.

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Understand the research behind measurement topics and proficiency scales.

Teacher Observation and Feedback in a CBE System

Perhaps the most critical system to put in place in any change process is professional development aimed at developing the skills needed to realize the desired change. Dr. Marzano has developed a growth model to build capacity via a streamlined observation and feedback system that greatly simplifies the time demand on leadership and provides targeted strategies to achieve the desired student behavior/achievement. In this system, focus is on student behavior and achievement, essentially measuring the quality of teacher practices and classroom systems. 

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Learning Outcomes:

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Learn how to calibrate self assessment and leader assessment within 10 design areas & 49 elements.

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Learn how peer-to-peer feedback can be a powerful practice within the professional learning community.

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Learn how to flip the conversation from teacher practice to student behaviors in assessing teaching outcomes.

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Learn how goal setting can drive growth within 49 elements.

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Adopt either an automated process of observation/feedback or manual process dependent upon your system needs.