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More Utah Schools Can Create Classrooms of the Future



Following the lead of local schools seeking the best way to help students, Utah has been among the national leaders in creating classrooms of the future that focus on students’ mastery of knowledge and skills rather than seat-time. Responding to high demand from schools and local communities, Senate Bill 132 expands a competency-based pilot program aimed toward allowing teachers to create more student-centered approaches to learning.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill last week.

Previously, the state Department of Education was limited to three grants to assist local districts seeking to transition to competency-based programs. Already, more than a dozen districts have expressed interest and joined an exploratory group to learn more about their possible implementation.

The new law allows the state Board of Education to provide more assistance including tools to monitor teacher progression and help schools develop mastery-based curriculum.

This new law continues the competitive grant process but expands the pipeline to allow more districts to engage in the development and implementation of competency-based education for more personalized learning for Utah’s students.

So many Utah educators and policy-makers deserve credit for this step forward. We at ExcelinEd would like to thank Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Howard Stephenson, Rep. Bradley Last and state Superintendent Dr. Sydnee Dickson for their leadership.

With their support for teachers and students, we can all continue to learn how best to provide the flexibility and support schools need to to prepare each and every student for success in school and in life.