Education Next: A Post-Pandemic Opportunity to Think Differently About Instructional Time

Originally published on July 8, 2021 by Education Next.

The sudden shift to distance learning last year forced states across the country quickly to provide schools with flexibility around how they accounted for student attendance or “seat time” requirements…

Examples of states leading the way

Over the past year, we’ve already seen some states taking advantage of the lessons learned during the pandemic and reshaping their policies around how schools measure time and credential evidence of learning. For example, Montana passed legislation this spring that broadened the definition of instruction, allowing a school district to grant credit for coursework when pupils gain proficiency over course content or when they participate in on-the-job experiences. Arizona established a system for school districts to adopt their own unique instructional time models that satisfy the state’s existing requirements for attendance. And Washington took legislative steps to codify the recommendation of its Mastery-based Learning Workgroup, which included the creation of a new task force to examine the definitions of the credit hour and better align them with the state’s Profile of a Graduate.

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