New Hampshire Leads the Way
in Personalized Learning
Imagine a school where teachers help customize the curriculum to align with each student’s interests—and with a rigorous set of standards too. This is becoming a reality in New Hampshire, where competency-based education (CBE) allows students to earn credit for learning experiences that happen outside of the classroom.
For example, at a high school in Kingston, N.H., a special education student we’ll call M integrated two of his classes with an internship that involves building a bike trail.
“At school, M’s science class will relate to his internship by including topics such as soil erosion,” says his teacher, Diane Anderson. “His English class will include reading and writing assignments related to the topics he’s learning about in his internship.”
Students who participate in these kinds of extended learning opportunities (ELOs) have been more likely to stay on track to graduate, score higher on the SATs and enroll in college.
ELOs are one of several initiatives in New Hampshire that are expanding the use of personalized learning. Others include training educators to use UDL in classrooms and designing assessments that support deeper learner and allow students to demonstrate mastery in multiple ways.
New Hampshire is also developing a new model of personalization for preK-8 that does not rate achievement using letter grades. It also doesn’t group students in conventional age-based grades. Hence the project’s name of NG2, which is short for “No Grades, No Grades.”