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Off the Clock

Off the Clock
Moving Education From Time to Competency

March 2012 | 192 pages | Corwin

How to base learning on mastery instead of time

What if you could remove time and space pressures from the process of teaching and learning? The authors of Off the Clock not only suggest this, but they have implemented it in New Hampshire. Due in part to their work, the New England Consortium won the 2011 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation through the Education Commission of the States. This book's core idea is that student achievement should be based on mastering competencies instead of "seat time." In addition, learning does not need to be restricted to a school building or traditional school calendar. Fred Bramante and Rose Colby describe a uniquely 21st century learning environment in which:

  • Every student is engaged
  • Parents and students have more control over learning
  • Dropouts are all but eliminated
  • Curriculum becomes virtually limitless, project-based, and interdisciplinary

This text for educators, policymakers, parents, and community members provides a comprehensive approach to implementing a large-scale competency-based reform initiative. Wherever this model is applied, public education will be vastly improved, more efficient, and, quite possibly, less expensive. The ultimate beneficiaries will be our nation's children.

About the Authors
Introduction: Imagine School Without Clocks
Part I. Leverage: The Perfect Storm
1. Setting the Table for Transformation
2. Reform: Getting Better at Things That Don't Work
Part II. The New Hampshire Story: Mandating Flexibility: Why Leadership From the Top Matters
3. Fred's Story
4. Rose's Story
5. New Hampshire Present and Future
Part III. The New Model for Learning: 20th Century Versus 21st Century
6. Time Versus Mastery
7. Competency-Based Learning
8. Learning in the 21st Century
9. Dropouts Versus Engaged Learners
10. Teacher Versus Educator
11. Teacher Compensation
Part IV. Selling the Concept: A Conscious Effort to Create Public Demand
12. Selling to Students and Parents
13. Selling to Business, Nonprofits, and Communities
14. Selling to the Education Community and Professional Organizations
15. Selling the Concept and the Politics to Legislators
Part V. Imagine the Possibilities
16. Moving Education From Time to Competency

“Bramante and Colby offer an insiders’ look at how America’s schools might make the long-awaited break from the factory model of education. This book gives us more than just hope that a real transformation is finally upon us—it shows the path.”

Jason E. Glass, State Director & Chief Learner
Iowa Department of Education

"At a time when there was an unusually large number of deserving nominees, New Hampshire won the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation."

Roger Sampson, President
The Education Commission of the States

“The authors have eloquently described the beginning of 21st Century Education. The move from time as the constant and high level learning as the variable to an education where high level learning is the constant will impact the next generation of citizens to be better equipped to deal with their future.”

Jeff Herzberg, Chief Administrator
Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency, Pocahontas, IA

"Provides the urgency for school systems to begin focusing on the whole child's education. The model in New Hampshire similar to the CCSS sets the stage for schools to begin their theory of action so student achievement increases system-wide."

Elizabeth Alvarez, Principal
Chicago Public School, IL

Off the Clock is a book that is, for many, ahead of its time. As New Hampshire blazes a trail for the rest of us, we can appreciate and be grateful to the authors for presenting the road map and journey in a manner and context that will help us down the same essential pathway to educational transformation.”

Marsha M. Myles, Educational Consultant
EdTech Specialists, LLC, Traverse City, MI

“This book is an excellent resource for practitioners and leaders at local, regional, state, and national levels. The authors offer innovative insights for restoring meaning to learning.”

Lyne Ssebikindu, Assistant Principal
Crump Elementary School, Memphis, TN

Off The Clock provides practitioners with an enormous amount of research on why our antiquated way of instruction is obsolete.”

Tanna Nicely, Assistant Principal
Dogwood Elementary, Knoxville, TN

“The competency-based approach is consistent with our changing context in America and may be the one approach that unlocks the numerous restraints in our current 20th century delivery model. By honoring choice and personalization of learning, this book's ideas have potential for support by parents, educators, employers, and policy makers.”

Ronald Fielder, Chief Administrator
Grant Wood Area Education Agency, Cedar Rapids, IA

“The authors identify important issues about learning, shows what they did to invoke changes, and provides alternatives that can be used in schools, districts, and states. This book challenges educators to create alternative means for students to learn that meet or exceed proficiency for standards and courses.”

Glen Ishiwata, Former Superintendent
Moreland School District, San Jose, CA

“In an era of proposals involving quick turnarounds of educational delivery systems, the authors have shared a view of a long-term, high stakes process to rethink how schools do business while maintaining a focus on both Real World Learning and Following the Child. This has the potential to change the landscape of public education nationwide.”

Dan Lawson, Superintendent of Schools
Tullahoma City Schools, TN
Key features
  • Offers the first complete documentation of a large-scale competency-based reform initiative.
  • Provides a blueprint for other states interested in adopting competency models of learning and teaching
  • Articulates a uniquely 21st century model for learning, which promotes alternative learning environments, mastery of competencies as the standard unit of measurement, and the role of the teacher as coordinator of learning

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ISBN: 9781452284033

ISBN: 9781452217314

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.