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The Challenge of Paying for a New Kind of Learning

Education Next – Marguerite Roza

“Wouldn’t it be great if we had to pay for instruction only when we had evidence that students actually learned something? That’s the thinking behind proposals that some states are considering to pay for competency-based learning—programs that allow students to master academic content unconstrained by time, place or pace, often in online or digital environments. This desire to reduce risk and provide some guarantee of student learning is underscored by weak results among some online providers. Given these concerns, states are considering what’s known as “completion-based funding,” – funding that a) is “earmarked” only for personalized learning, and b) includes a performance-pay element, meaning that schools or providers only get the full cash owed for services after they provide evidence of student learning.”(more)

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