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Aligning Competencies to Rigorous Standards for Off-track Youth: A Case Study of Boston Day and Evening Academy

Rebecca E. Wolfe

For over 17 years, Boston Day and Evening Academy has served a population of young people often left behind: those who are off track to high school graduation or who have dropped out altogether. Through its competency-based approach, BDEA has tackled one of the toughest education conundrums of our time: how to recover low-skilled students two or more years off track to graduation, provide them a rich and rigorous education aligned with the Common Core State Standards, and graduate them quickly and college ready. 

This report uses BDEA as a model to describe the process of aligning competency-based pathways for off-track youth with rigorous standards. It details how BDEA designs its competencies for struggling students. In addition to a narrative of the process, the brief contains a glossary of terms and numerous examples, tools, and resources to assist educators tackling this work for their schools. 

Additional resources on competency-based education, BDEA, and off-track youth: