Recently The 74 reported on a new initiative in Cleveland designed to confront Coronavirus learning loss by focusing on mastery learning. Excerpts of the piece appear below:
A bold proposal in Cleveland could set the tone for how schools around the country could restart in the fall, one that takes into account students’ vastly different access to resources and remote learning during the pandemic and lets students learn at their own speed.
Cleveland schools would toss aside teaching many students in traditional grade levels this fall and dramatically expand the “mastery” learning plan it has tested for a few years.
Out would go the usual practice of students advancing a grade each year, an especially tricky issue to manage this year after schools shut down nationwide in March — to be replaced with a system of “grade bands” that combine students of a few ages and grade levels into the same classroom, school district CEO Eric Gordon told the school board Tuesday night.
“We’ve got opportunities here to really test, challenge and maybe abandon some of these time-bound structures of education that have never really conformed to what we know about good child development,” Gordon said.
Gordon told the school board that by avoiding the normal grade levels, the district can help students catch up, learn what they need and not stigmatize students as failures by making some repeat grades.
He also said that his draft school reopening plan coming mid-June will offer the mastery system as an option for the community and individual families to consider. He wants focus groups of students to review the draft plan and help craft the final version.
For more, see https://www.the74million.org/article/cleveland-schools-considering-bold-plan-to-confront-coronavirus-learning-loss-a-mastery-learning-initiative-that-would-scrap-grade-levels-let-kids-learn-at-own-pace/