Innovate to Elevate

Visit our new Innovate to Elevate page to see mastery simplified and clarified along with amazing resources and opportunities available to support Student Driven Learning, including Professional Development and Funding.

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The legislature finds that moving toward Mastery-based education where students progress as they demonstrate mastery of a subject or grade level is in the best interest of Idaho students.
Idaho Legislature, 33-1632, 2014

What IS Mastery-based Education?

Mastery-based education empowers students, personalizes learning, supports the demonstration of competencies (the knowledge, skills, and personal attributes that lead to success), and recognizes mastery by allowing students to advance as they demonstrate their knowledge and skills regardless of time, place or pace.

“We must remember that intelligence is not enough, intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Key Idaho Resources Available to Anyone
Additional Links
What does Mastery-based Education LOOK Like?
“If I could change anything about this project, I wouldn't change anything.”

MV Mastery Student


With Mastery-Based Education, failure is not an option. Mastery systems give students the opportunities they need to demonstrate their competency with appropriate pacing and supports. Assessments are purposeful and demonstrate what students can do, not just what they know. Learning is flexible, self-paced, engaging, and focused on building skills critical to college, career, and life. Each local education agency has the freedom to create a plan that fits the needs and aspirations of their students.

Key Idaho Resources Available to Anyone
  • The Staging Guide: Resources and indicators for educators implementing any component of the framework
  • Guidance Document: Awarding credit for demonstration of mastery
  • Crosswalk of the Framework with leading educational research, including the Danielson Framework for Learning, Marzano’s High Reliability Schools, and Professional Learning Communities.
Additional Links
  • Free Peer-to-Peer Tutoring available from learners who have mastered their content (developed by Sal Khan)
  • From Digital Promise, a video of educators and students describing what mastery looks like in the classroom
What are the BENEFITS of Mastery-based Education?

Mastery-Based Education ensures students have equitable access to resources that promptly identify and address learner needs. It meets each student where they are with flexible, personalized supports, meaningful assessments, and real-world application. With the Idaho College and Career Readiness Competencies and key system shifts, the learning journey is visible and empowers all students to become independent learners. The work of mastery education is transformative, allowing teachers and students to co-design meaningful learning goals.

“Learning without failure is not learning at all.”

– Salmon SD Teacher


Examples of a Re-envisioned Learning Experience

Resource Files

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information


Moving toward Mastery-Based Education doesn't mean starting over or abandoning the important work you've already done. National research confirms most teachers already utilize mastery practices!

Organized by the Mastery-Based Education Framework, the shifts associated with moving to mastery are indicated below. To help recognize what the shifts look like in a learning environment each shift also includes system and student learning indicators. Whether or not you have been using one of the many names for mastery learning, let's identify where your current practices align and continue to build towards a student centered learning system. Eventually, each of these shifts will have practical professional development to better inform and support your transition.


Description: At its core, Mastery Learning is about recreating our education system to truly provide rich, multi-faceted, and numerous opportunities for all students to develop the skills, habits, and knowledge they need in order to thrive in college, careers, and life. Mastery-based education takes on the structural, systemic, and cultural inequities that bound and shape educators’ and young people's experiences in learning communities.

Moving toward Mastery-Based Education doesn't mean starting over or abandoning the important work you've already done. National research confirms most teachers already utilize mastery practices!

However, change is complicated and messy. The resources here will support your inquiry into mastery-based education.