Expansion of Competency-Based Education Pilot Returns in 2019

There are new plans to expand the 2016 Competency-Based Education (CBE) to every county in the state despite any lack of evidence of effectiveness and actual failurein Lake County. This will disburse the Common Core tests to constant computerized embedded assessments and greatly harm the student-teacher interaction. The Senate bill (SB 226) by Senator Jeffrey Brandes appears stalled in the Appropriations Committee, but the House bill (HB 401) by Rep.DiCeglie is currently on the Consent Calendar for April 23rd. Let your representative know this is a terrible idea. The many problems with the bill and concept are available in this short document [A PDF version of this document with footnotes is available HERE].


The expansion of the Competency Based Education Pilot Program to all 67 districts in SB 226/HB 401 is problematic, not only because of in the absence of data showing its effectiveness in any of the pilot counties, but because of the clear evidence that it failed in Lake County, one of the original pilot districts. Lake County experienced a significant drop in graduation rates and the grade for the high school implementing CBE dropped from a B to a D. Bill Gates, who was funding Lake County's CBE effort before it failed has admitted that education technology has not improved academic performancein general.
Data collection, including psychological data, in CBE is extensive, with the FBI issuing public service announcements warning of the privacy dangers related to education technology.
Other CBE problems include:
  • The concern that this data will be used to pigeonhole children into careers not of their choosing
  • Harm to the student-teacher interaction
  • High cost
  • Narrowing of curriculum to that which can be digitized
  • Inability of parent or teacher to actually see the online curriculum or assessments 
  • Increased screen time for students with harm, especially for younger students
In summary, there are many reasons to not expand the CBE/mastery learning pilot to all 67 counties at this time, if at all. 
Additional Information:
  • Seventy-seven percent of middle school parents in the MacPherson, Kansas school district stated in a survey that they would prefer their students not be in a class using Summit due to academic, privacy, physiological and psychological concerns. Parents in Cheshire, Conn., and Indiana, Pa., have been able to stop the use of the Summit Basecamp digital personalized (CBE) learning platform due to concerns about academic achievement and data privacy.This platform is a joint venture between the Summit charter schools and the Chan-Zuckerburg Initiative founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg and his wife Priscilla Chan. There are many other instances of parental anger and removal of their children from schools using this platform, well explained by Leonie Haimson of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy. Summit boasts of a research collaboration with Harvard, but refused to be studied by Harvard researchers.
  • Every Gates education venture has been a failure- In addition to Common Core and CBE, the teacher evaluation grants in Hillsborough cost that county's taxpayers an extra $24 million and was a total failure because of VAM - even as admitted by the RAND corporation, and smaller learning communities before Common Core are just a school-to-work model that also failed.
  • One education technology company called Knewton brags about being able to collect 5-10 millionactionable data points per student per dayas they interact with Common Core curriculum and embedded assessments and another called Dream Box boasts of collecting 100,000 data points per student per hour. These are the kinds of platforms commonly used in CBE.

Posted in Competency Based Education. Tagged as all districts, CBE, data privacy, effectiveness, FBI, pilot project.

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