Proficiency Based Education
In 2012 the State of Maine's legislature passed LD 1422, An Act to Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy. The vision was that all students who graduated from Maine’s high schools would be able to show proficiency in identified outcomes for learning (Maine’s Learning Results). The Maine Learning Results include both Guiding Principles and content areas.
Our students need to be educated so they can adapt their knowledge and skills to changing opportunities. In proficiency-based education, schools move away from using grades to rank and sort students, instead providing students and families more tailored feedback on student learning. Tying proficiency to specific learning outcomes enables teachers to identify content and skills mastered, as well as areas requiring further instruction or support.
MSAD #51’s mission has long been “to guide all students as they acquire enthusiasm for learning, assume responsibility for their education, achieve academic excellence, and discover and attain their personal best.” This mission drives our teaching in the classroom and dovetails with a proficiency-based model, beginning with explicit learning outcomes and assessing students based on these educational goals.
GMS HoW, GHS HoW). With three years to implement a full proficiency-based model, MSAD #51 has time to refine our standards, fine tune our instructional methods, and facilitate communication with our students and families. Professional development of our K-12 educators has been, and will continue to be, a primary focus of our district.
How do students and parents know if a student is reaching proficiency in the required content areas?The courses and the grading system are designed to reflect progress toward proficiency. Teachers will continue to provide regular feedback to students and will hold regular parent-teacher conferences. As always, parents and students will be encouraged to talk to their teachers if they have questions or concerns about a student’s progress. In the future, report cards will present the learning standards along with correlating evidence of student progress.