Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper Beyond Four Walls: How Competency-Based Learning Can Enhance Public Education.

The paper’s authors provided the following statements:

“The fact is, student outcomes are more important than how long students have sat in a classroom,” said Emily Sass, policy director for TPPF’s Next Generation Texas campaign. “Despite varying individual needs, our education funding system uses seat time as a key metric and expects all students to reach basic competency using a one-size-fits-all approach to education. Texas has the potential to lead the nation in developing better measures of education progress and quality.”

“The focus on ‘seat time’ is a relatively new concept that was introduced during the Industrial Age to introduce factory-style efficiency to classrooms,” said Erin Davis Valdez, policy analyst for TPPF’s Right on Work initiative. “The result of a myopic focus on inputs such as the amount of time a student is exposed to instruction forces both teachers and students into a paradigm that precludes teachers’ adaptation to individual student needs”

“Competency-based education shifts the focus of education back from time spent in the classroom to learning achieved,” said David Dunmoyer, TPPF’s Chief of Staff. “This approach may hold special promise for career and technical education programs. While Texas has taken initial steps to introduce greater instructional flexibility, more needs to be done and now is the time to do it.”

To read the paper in full, please visit: