Do LEAs have to offer CDM?
Yes. Per State Board of Education policy, all LEAs must offer the opportunity for students to earn CDM for high school courses by the end of 2014-15 to inform student placement in the academic year of 2015-16.
Is a CDM credit intended to be “different” than a credit earned in the traditional manner?
No. Schools and districts shall assess students and evaluate artifacts based upon the same standards that are applied to students earning course credit in the traditional sense. The achievement levels required to earn CDM through a two-phase assessment already reflect a more rigorous expectation of students who want to earn credit in this manner than those of students who complete the course with the traditional seat-time.
The biggest difference in terms of how they are applied is that CDM credits DO NOT impact GPA.
Who is eligible to request an opportunity to earn credit by demonstrating mastery?
All students in North Carolina Public Schools for high school courses in grades 9-12 and high school courses offered in grades 6-8 in middle school, based on LEA availability.
Is there a limit to the number of courses for which a student may earn credit using the CDM policy?
No. Students may earn credit using CDM for as many courses as they wish and districts may not impose local limitations.
However, students may only make one attempt per course. Students who are unsuccessful after one attempt must register for and complete the course in the traditional manner to receive credit.
May students earn CDM credit for honors courses?
It depends. CDM is only available for standard-level courses and inherently honors courses. Most courses are not Honors-only offerings; therefore, most courses do not have an honors-level CDM available.
CDM credits will be indicated on the transcript as CDM (similar to a ‘pass’) and therefore do not earn a specific grade or calculate into a student’s grade point average. Honors level courses that are not inherently honors are not available for CDM. In either case, a student only earns credit and does not receive grades or an extra quality-point.
What courses are excluded from CDM?
Per NC State Board Policy CCRE-001 Course for Credit, Section 8.6:
The following courses are excluded from Credit by Demonstrated Mastery:
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) work-based learning courses (co-op, internship, apprenticeship);
- CTE courses that have a clinical setting as a requirement of the course, such as ProStart, Early Childhood Education I/II and Nursing Fundamentals;
- CTE Advanced Studies courses;
- CTE courses in pilot and/or field test status;
- English Language Learner (ELL) courses;
- Healthful Living required courses;
- AP, IB, and CIE courses; and
- Occupational Course of Study (OCS) Occupational Preparation I, II, III, and IV courses.
What CDM options are there for Global Languages?
GCS uses the AAPPL test for Global Languages. The ACTFL* Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) - an approved test from NCDPI - assesses the following modes of communication:
- Interpersonal Listening/Speaking
- Presentational Writing
- Interpretive Reading and Listening
It allows us to test the following global languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.
*ACTFL is the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages
May students earn credit by demonstrated mastery for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Courses?
Yes, with the exception of specific courses excluded by SBE policy (work-based learning courses such as co-ops, internships and apprenticeships; courses that have a clinical setting as a requirement such as ProStart, Early Childhood Education I/II and Nursing Fundamentals; Advanced Studies courses). For CTE courses, an industry credential may be accepted as the required artifact component. Students will still be expected to complete the post-assessment, if one is available, or a teacher made exam if the state does not provide a post-assessment. If the student earns credit, the post-assessment score would be reported in the technical attainment performance measure.
May a student earn the CPR credit through CDM?
No. CPR is part of the Healthful Living requirement and NC State Board of Education policy specifically excludes required Healthful Living courses from CDM.
If a student chooses to earn CDM for an EOC course, will the student have to take that EOC?
Yes. Students attempting to earn a CDM credit for a course with an EOC, must take the EOC as the Phase 1 assessment component of the CDM attempt. If the attempt is successful, the score will be banked for appropriate use by the district in terms of Accountability.
May a student receive credit through CDM for a course not offered at their school?
It depends. This is a local decision. DPI recommends that LEAs offer the CDM process for courses taught within the school district, even if they are not taught at all schools. It is not recommended that CDM be offered for courses not available within the local school district. Districts may consider partnerships with NCVPS to consider whether they have staff expertise within the district to offer CDM for NCVPS courses available to its students.
In Guilford County Schools, we provide CDM opportunities for any course we currently offer in Guilford County Schools, with some exceptions in Global Languages.
What does Phase 2 look like for CDM?
Because classroom situations (science labs, conversation in world languages, etc.) cannot be replicated on a standardized assessment, we require, as part of Phase II artifact assessment, student performance tasks that replicate these situations. For example, for world languages, the district may require a student to demonstrate conversational ability as part of earning the CDM credit as part of the Phase 2 assessment of the CDM process.
Can students participating in an on-going course decide to earn CDM in the middle of the course?
No. The CDM policy is being phased in beginning with students who wish to accelerate without enrolling in a course and to attempt CDM prior to taking a course. The CDM Committee has begun discussions about how to extend the policy to promote on-going mastery-based learning and include students taking courses and in a credit recovery situation. When the policy is extended to those students, the guidance document will be updated to reflect guidelines applicable to those students
Can the school or district deny a student the opportunity to attempt to earn CDM credit?
No. DPI encourages LEAs to advise parents and families of the opportunities and discuss possible benefits and challenges. However, all students must be awarded the opportunity to earn CDM.
Could CDM be used to accelerate students who know content but have not traditionally performed well?
Yes. CDM may be used for any student who would benefit from earning CDM and is able to meet the requirements. CDM may support a pathway towards graduation that was not available before.
How does the CDM policy and its implementation impact quality points and a student’s GPA?
CDM credits are awarded as CDM in the gradebook, essentially like a “pass”, and will appear as such on the student’s transcript. No course grade is received and the course is not included in the GPA calculation.
In a sequence of courses, could a student theoretically receive credit for all courses?
Not at once. A student may attempt to earn CDM for all of the courses in a sequence, one at a time. A student in grade 9, who has NOT taken English I, II or III, may NOT attempt to earn CDM for English IV and then subsequently earn credit for the other English I-III. A student must CDM for the next course in the content sequence. If a student did earn CDM for all four courses through the multi-phase assessments over time, this indicates a clear need for a personalized learning plan.
When a student earns CDM for a course, what should schools use to replace it in their schedules?
Generally, students should replace the course with the next course in the sequence, i.e. a student using CDM to earn a Math I credit should schedule Math II in its place. High school students might also use CDM credit to create space in their schedule that can be filled with a community college course available through Career & College Promise or other advanced courses, such as AP and IB. The NC Virtual Public School is also a source of courses for middle school and high school students who need to replace a course for which they have earned a CDM credit.
Are credits earned through CDM accepted by organizations such as NCHSAA, NCCCS, UNC-GA, and NCAA?
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NCHSAA)
According to the NCHSAA, students’ primary consideration with respect to earning credit by demonstrated mastery is maintaining eligibility if they are participating or wish to participate in high school athletics. According to Association by-laws, students must ensure they are enrolled in a number of courses that is at least equal to one less than the maximum number of courses available per the high school schedule. For instance, students in a high school on a block schedule must be enrolled in at least three courses of a possible four. For schools on a seven-course schedule, students must be enrolled in at least six courses.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (NCAA)
According to the NCAA, students’ primary consideration with respect to earning credit by demonstrated mastery is maintaining eligibility if they wish to participate in NCAA athletics. Please note that because North Carolina’s current CDM procedure does not assign a final letter grade, CDM courses would not be used in the initial-eligibility process. Students would still be required to satisfy NCAA division-specific core course distribution requirements. More information about establishing initial eligibility may be found at the NCAA Eligibility Center website.
NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
Two primary considerations exist for high school students planning to attend a North Carolina community college – acceptance of the high school diploma and articulation of credit earned while in high school.
Community colleges in North Carolina have traditionally accepted the State Board of Education’s authority to determine how students earn high school credit toward graduation and the credit by demonstrated mastery policy does not change that. Students with a diploma from a North Carolina high school will be recognized as high school graduates regardless of the presence of academic or career-technical credits earned via the CDM policy, thus ensuring students’ ability to enroll in a community college following graduation.
Like many colleges and universities, North Carolina community colleges offer “credit for prior learning,” either according to the high school-community college articulation agreement for CTE courses or through local college decisions to award credit for academic courses. The North Carolina Community College System Office has not established system-wide policies regarding credit for prior learning; final decisions are left to local college administrators. As such, students should anticipate that decisions regarding credit for academic courses will be made on a case-by-case basis, so students are not guaranteed a particular outcome with respect to high school credits earned through the CDM policy. Regarding CTE courses, students who request credit without completing the course will not be eligible for articulated credit at the community college.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM
Like community colleges, the University of North Carolina member universities have traditionally accepted the State Board of Education’s authority to determine how students earn high school credit toward graduation. Based upon discussions during the summer of 2013 with UNC-GA staff as well as enrollment managers across the system, the credit by demonstrated mastery policy does not change that. Students with a diploma from a North Carolina high school will be recognized as high school graduates regardless of the credits earned via the CDM policy, thus ensuring students’ ability to enroll in a UNC system university following graduation. As always, the minimum admission requirements must be satisfied.
How do you ensure the CDM process is fair and equitable?
For EOC courses, the EOC will be given during an early testing window to provide the information needed for the Phase I assessment.
In GCS, we also utilize the NC Final Exams for any course with an NCFE to provide the information needed for the Phase I assessment.
For global languages, we use a state-approved, internationally recognized test that assessment that tests language skills - the AAPPL test.
For tests that do not adhere to any of these options, we use locally built exams, constructed with master teachers and district content experts that test the course objectives as set by NCDPI. These tests are administered in the same way and during the same time frame as those with specific testing parameters, such as the EOC, NCFE, or AAPPL test.
What measures are in place to ensure consistency between LEAs across the state with the CDM process?
State Board of Education policy CCRE-001 Course for Credit, Section 8, specifies required parameters. Additionally, NCDPI has developed CDM Guidelines and a CDM Toolkit for LEAs to use to develop and implement the local CDM process. As always, the SBE respects an individual LEA’s context and needs, thus the CDM policy does allow local decisions among the CDM framework. The CDM Guidelines specify additional requirements of the policy as well as components that are determined by the local school district.
If students transfer between LEAs, how will the school know if the student has gone through CDM?
Completed CDM is reflected on student transcripts.
Does CDM replace differentiation in meeting the learning needs of students?
No. CDM is not a replacement for differentiated services to meet the learning needs of students. CDM is in fact a way to differentiate and personalize learning based on individual student needs of content replacement. CDM does not replace the typical accelerated pathways of learning compacted curriculum by groups of advanced students, which are quite common in many LEAs.
Can CDM replace current differentiated pathways for advanced students?
No. CDM should not replace current compacted pathways for groups of students. CDM should not be an additional requirement to determine who will work at a faster rate within the classroom. CDM is meant for individual students who need content replacement and subject acceleration clearly, without any learning of the content in the school setting.
For example. It should not be used for students who are curriculum compacting Grade 6, 7, 8 Math in two years to access Math 1 in Grade 8?
Can students graduate early based upon credits earned through this policy?
Yes. CDM credits work like traditional credits towards graduation. DPI recommends that early graduation decisions be made through deep discussion between families, students, and appropriate educational staff.
Can students potentially stay at home and graduate?
No. CDM policy does not relieve schools, parents or students of the requirement that students attend school until age 16.
Are Charter Schools required to offer the CDM process?
No. Charter Schools are not required to participate but may decide to offer students the opportunity to earn course credit by demonstrated mastery.
Director, Social Studies
Office: (336) 574-2645 ext. 1
Fax: (336) 370-4207
501 W. Washington Street
Greensboro, NC 27401