The trend of personalized learning has caught on nationwide, but the entire state of Oregon has been using a similar method—proficiency-based instruction—since 2002 when it gave districts the option to award credit for proficiency. To earn credit, students demonstrate what they know based on clear learning targets defined by state standards. Students have intervention time built into their school day to work on concepts in which they aren’t yet proficient. Once they master a concept, they move on.
The Greater Albany (Ore.) Public School District 8J is one of four districts selected to work with Oregon’s Business Education Compact (BEC), a nonprofit organization that advocates for proficiency-based instruction across the nation. The BEC has been running proficiency workshops since 2005 to train educators and help them improve their practice. Albany is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, 60 miles south of Portland. The district’s mission is “Unprecedented Achievement,” and students are reaching that mission with the strong leadership of Superintendent Maria Delapoer.