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Boston Day and Evening Academy

Page history last edited by sturgis.chris@gmail.com 4 years, 6 months ago

Be sure to read: Jobs for the Future's Aligning Competencies to Rigorous Standards for Off-track Youth


Boston Day and Evening Academy is an alternative school serving 370 over-age, undercredited students. See CompetencyWorks for a three-part case study on BDEA (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)  If you want to know more about BDEA's model, they offer labs and a summer institute.
Check out their recruitment video where they describe parts of their competency-based system.


From Making Mastery Work:

Context of Competency Education:  BDEA is a 17-year alternative public charter high school serving over-age Boston students, 100% eligible for free and reduced lunch, who have struggled in or dropped out of other settings. BDEA is a competency education school, well- known in the region for its work on developing a competency education assessment system.  See video with students speaking about their experience. (Jan 2016)

Focus of Grant Project: To develop and pilot the REAL Institute, a regional institute to train and support districts and schools in competency education practices. The focus is to also align curriculum and benchmarks to the Common Core Standards.

What We Are Learning from BDEA:

Creating a Transparent Mastery and Assessment System

  • BDEA aligned its existing competency system with the Common Core Standards and created the Responsive Education Alternatives Lab (the REAL Institute), a learning network which gathers educators from around the country
  • Table 3 on page 37 of Making Mastery Work explains what a competency based assessment looks like in comparison to traditional assessments styles. This table is adapted from REAL Institute materials, 2011.


Using Time Flexibly

  • Trimesters and summer school allow students to enroll at three points and graduate at four points during the year (new students do not enroll in summer school, but students can finish and graduate at the end of the summer)
  • The curriculum can be accessed “anytime and anywhere,” but students can also enroll in the Math POLL Lab (Personalized Online Learning) where they can do their own work while receiving support from a math teacher.


Curriculum and Instruction

  • Teachers begin each lesson and unit by describing the learning targets students will be mastering, usually categorizing them as either short- or long-term


Leadership for Competency Education Development

  • Each student has an advisor who is the go-to person for students in academic or personal distress. Advisors are charged with getting to know their students, developing strong relationships with them, and supporting them when necessary. However, if a student is in a prolonged crisis, or an event at home or school requires legal intervention, administrators are called upon.


Competency Education, Data, and Information Technology

  • BDEA wanted a better tool for tracking student progress on benchmarks and competencies across courses. They adapted to a system called EASE for their use. It is a simple user-friendly tool that allows a teacher to click on a student’s name and open a screen that displays all the BDEA competencies and benchmarks and shows which the student has met (A sample report is attached below)


Learner Support

  • When BDEA students do not successfully complete all the benchmarks associated with a module, they must decide if they will repeat the course, undertake an independent study, or enroll in a comparable blended or online course that will allow them to demonstrate competence in the outstanding benchmarks.


How Students Experience Competency Education

  • Look at page 77 of Making Mastery Work to read about four students' experience with competency education at BDEA





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