Credit by mastery on tap for WHS students
by Allison Haver
Local high school students will soon have the opportunity to place out of certain classes by demonstrating they have already mastered the content.
Meredith Jones director of middle and secondary education of Watauga County Schools presented an initial overview of the Credit by Demonstrated Mastery initiative to the Watauga County Board of Education on Monday.
According to Jones, CDM is a process in which students may
now earn a high school course credit by demonstrating a deep understanding of
the content without course enrollment or seat time.
"In other words if a student can come to us and show before
they take a course that they have already mastered at a high level the course
content the state is now providing a way for the student to receive the credit
for that course with out doing the seat time," Jones said.
The initiative has been put into the North Carolina State
Board of Education policy and was originally passed by the state board in 2012
and revised in December 2013 according to Jones.
In a newsletter, the North Carolina state board said beginning with the 2014-15 school year;
local school districts will be required to offer credit by demonstrated mastery
to place high school students in courses for the following school year.
department over the years has received several requests from students who found
themselves in unique and special situations where they were operating in some
content or another far above their fellow classmates," Jones said.
specialists and processes are used to differentiate student academic levels
with K-8 classes it is difficult at the high school level with seat time and
course requirements to help those unique students Jones said.
adopted by the state board to make sure students can personalize their
education to optimally grow and have effective seat time to learn new content
and to respond to the needs of students, families, AIG communities and school
personal and leadership.
is not intended for the masses," Jones said.
Jones the process will be rigorous enough that only four to five
students would apply in a year.
"This is a process intended for our most advanced students, she said.
CDM is a multi-step process in which students must take an examination demonstrating foundational knowledge.
"If the course is an EOC course the student must take the End of Course tests for that course to show that showing they could already pass at a high level the End of Course test before even taking the class," Jones said.
Part two of
the process is the student presenting an artifact that demonstrates application
of knowledge of the course content. Artifacts could be a project, paper, research,
interview or something else that exhibits course mastery.
Jones said that for a foreign language course having the students speak the language would be an appropriate artifact.
The last step would be any other evidence that the LEA deems necessary for the student to
will not include advanced placement courses and will only give credit at a
standard level. The credit will not go towards the students' grade point
average and will be listed as a pass/fail course.
The state board has made, for middle school students, the opportunity optional and has made it up to the school district's discretion.
Jones said she
was in the process of talking with different stakeholder groups including the
school board, the high school curriculum committee, school principals, the elementary
curriculum committee, AIG specialists and the AIG advisory committee to begin
getting community input and thoughts about the CDM initiative.
Watauga board member Brenda Reese said the initiative "has some exciting possibilities if you work out the details."
"Our charge for the next few months is to work out the details to make this a smooth and equitable process for students," Jones said.