At the heart of competency education is the assumption that by maintaining a laser focus on learning, allowing time to be a variable and powerful competencies to set the bar, we can create an education system that produces high achievement for students from all income levels, across all racial and ethnic communities.
That is obviously incorrect. At the heart of competency education is the assumption that the most effective way to model the educational process is as a set of competencies, and at the heart of any push to increase the use of competency education is the implicit or explicit claim that we have at hand a proven and widely admired set of competencies to guide the work. If you don't have those competencies readily available, all you've got is a not-very-novel idea.
I've been trying to do a longer piece on this new "competency-based education" buzz, but the whole thing is so slippery and hand-wavy that its difficult.