The Department has been working on the Technical Assistance Plan (TAP) to help districts implement a proficiency-based diploma since the beginning of the year. Many of the elements of the plan will be unveiled at the Commissioner’s Conference (June 23-25) and will be officially released on July 1. The TAP is being developed as an interactive website stocked with resources, guidance documents and exemplars. One feature of the TAP is a district self-assessment, which allows districts to determine where their strengths and needs are, and where their energies can be most usefully applied. Just as the Education Evolving strategic plan calls for districts to personalize learning for their students, the TAP self-assessment will allow districts to tailor their own path toward implementing proficiency-based education.
As per the statute, Maine school districts will be required to award diplomas for graduating seniors based on demonstration of meeting the standards of the Maine Learning Results (which include the Common Core State Standards in English and mathematics). Also required is that districts explicitly certify that graduates demonstrate proficiency in meeting the standards of the Guiding Principles. This is required for the class of 2018, which means that students entering high school in 2014 will be awarded diplomas according to proficiency.
The statute explicitly required Maine DOE to design and release a TAP for the implementation of the proficiency-based diploma.