Project to Transform the Carnegie Unit Gets New Leader

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Laura Slover joins new effort to redefine the Carnegie Unit, EdWeek Market Brief

A new director has been named for the effort to replace the Carnegie Unit — the more than century-old approach to defining what counts as academic credit — with a model focused on competency-based education.

Laura Slover, who is currently the CEO of CenterPoint Education Solutions and played an instrumental role in developing state tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, will serve as managing director of skills for the future at the new project, starting in January.

The new effort focused on rethinking academic credit is being led jointly by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which developed the Carnegie Unit; and ETS, a longtime research and assessment organization.

The two organizations earlier this year announced their intentions to partner in overhauling the Carnegie Unit, which, as they described it at the time, has served since 1906 as the “bedrock currency of the educational economy.”

“It is increasingly clear that the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy are not singularly demonstrated through time on task — whether sitting at a desk or on a digital platform,” the organizations said, in describing the project.

“It is time to fundamentally rethink how learning progressions and mastery are demonstrated, the methods of measurement used, and how attainment of skills is communicated throughout a learner’s journey.”

Slover is a former high school English teacher who has held several prominent roles in the assessment world.

She worked for 16 years at Achieve, an influential policy group focused on standards and testing. And she later served as the CEO of the Partnership for Assessment of College and Careers, or PARCC, one of two main consortia of states that developed assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards — one of the farthest-reaching education efforts in the nation’s history to set shared academic expectations for students.

The Carnegie Foundation and ETS say they plan to design and test a new series of assessments that will measure affective, cognitive, and behavioral skills that students need. The goal, they said, is to provide “actionable evidence of progress to students, parents, educators, and states”  and capitalize on technology’s power to measure students’ development of skills, whether it comes about inside or out of schools.

Sue Krause will take over as CenterPoint’s CEO as Slover transitions to the new Carnegie/ETS venture, the organization said in an announcement.

Image by Getty

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