The purpose of competencies
The English department at Hopkinton High School has been working on developing and implementing competencies for the past three years. Currently, all 9th and 10th grades need to demonstrate competency in a course, as well as earn a passing grade, in order to receive credit for that course.
In 2010-2011, competencies will be implemented for all juniors related to their writing, in either writing electives such as Comp. 11 or in their reading electives.
In 2011-2012, the English department will complete the competency process by implementing competencies for reading-related activities and skills, both in reading courses and writing courses. At this point, all courses will be competency based.
So what is a competency?
According to the New Hampshire Department of Education, competencies are " enduring understandings and conceptual or factual understandings."
The linked pages outline the competencies the English department has created and implemented so far. Most competencies are skill-based or course-specific. There is little rote memorization required, as we feel that competencies should support our goals of making students better thinkers and writers.