Competency-Based Education Is WorkingThe crucial question is how to make sure that the common core achieves its main goal of improving student learning. New Hampshire may well be the state that has the best chance of doing that. It has established a competency-based education system, or CBE, which translates the new standards into actual skills. Students will take the Smarter Balanced test—one of the two main common-core assessments—but the results will be for gathering helpful data only. They will not count toward student promotion or graduation.A 2013 study by the Alliance for Excellent Education of two New Hampshire high schools found significant declines in the dropout rate, school failures, and disciplinary problems, and increases in student engagement and learning.