SAI Executive Leaders Issue Letter on Competency-Based Education to Gov. Branstad
December 10, 2014
SAI’s Executive Leaders met November 6 and 7 to learn more about the current status of competency-based education in Iowa and the issues that need to be addressed to successfully implement CBE to significantly improve the overall educational system in Iowa. As a follow up to the meeting, this letter was submitted to Gov. Branstad:
December 8, 2014
The Honorable Terry Branstad
Dear Governor Branstad:
School Administrators of Iowa’s Executive Leaders, a group composed of over 200 of Iowa’s Superintendents and Chief Area Education Agency Administrators, met on November 6 and 7. Our goal was to learn more about the current status of competency-based education in Iowa and the issues that need to be addressed to successfully implement CBE to significantly improve the overall educational system in Iowa.
The group heard a presentation from Dr. Sandra Dop from the Iowa Department of Education on the current status of CBE in Iowa. It is currently a priority of the Iowa State Board of Education. The Iowa Department of Education has modified accreditation standards in Chapter 12 of The School Rules to accommodate CBE. The Iowa Legislature supported CBE with funding for ten districts across Iowa to pilot programs. Representatives from three of those districts addressed the Executive Leaders.
Iowa’s school superintendents are supportive of competency-based education and believe CBE has the potential to dramatically change and improve education for Iowa’s students. CBE has the capacity to personalize education for each student in Iowa.
Listed below are reasons why CBE has the capacity to improve opportunities for Iowa students:
However, SAI Executive Leaders have several questions or concerns about the future of competency-based education in Iowa:
In summary, we believe that competency-based education is a positive approach to moving Iowa’s educational system forward. CBE has the potential, when coupled with existing technology, to truly personalize education for Iowa’s students. It will be important for Iowa communities to understand how CBE changes many educational practices. It will also be important for political and educational leaders in Iowa to explicitly support CBE and provide the connections and resources for its success.
Devin Embray, Chair