Successful transition to proficiency-based diploma starts now

In the spring of 2018, the students now in eighth grade will become the state’s first class to graduate having demonstrated their mastery of all State standards in the eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results.

Last week, the Department rolled out the resources we created to support schools in this transition to the proficiency-based diploma, most notably our comprehensive online resource center at By now, school administrative units (SAUs) should have also received their share of the $2 million in targeted funding we distributed this fiscal year to help districts cover any ongoing costs of the transition not otherwise subsidized by the State. From hiring coaches to developing a newsletter to educate parents and the public about the benefits of a proficiency-based system, we have a variety of examples on our website of ways SAUs can use these transition funds to build capacity, establish collaborative partnerships, monitor student progress and communicate these changing expectations of our students and their schools.

While 2018 is years away, students, schools and communities need to engage in the transition now to ensure that students have the time, opportunity and support to master the standards needed to earn their diploma then.

We’re happy to provide tools to help. If you are a parent who wants to learn more about the benefits of a proficiency-based diploma, start with our overview or visit our FAQs and glossary of terms. If you are an educator looking for case studies from classrooms, visit our Center for Best Practice for stories and videos from Maine schools that have already successfully started this transition. If you are an administrator wondering which steps your district needs to take first, begin with our self-assessment or review the leadership strategies associated with our suite of resources for addressing the organizational and instructional conditions that are integral to any effective proficiency-based system.

All of us at Maine DOE look forward to supporting our schools as they make this exciting transition that will ensure all students achieve all standards and graduate with a meaningful diploma that signifies they are ready for the world that awaits them.

4 thoughts on “Successful transition to proficiency-based diploma starts now

  1. Given that less than half of our high school students are proficient in basic math and reading, we believe it will have just the opposite effect,ensuring students move on to college and career when they’ve achieved proficiency, rather than when they’ve sat in a classroom for a certain number of years. In a proficiency-based system, it’s about learning rather than time. Of course, it is up to local school districts, governed by local school boards, to determine how this law is implemented, but Maine DOE is here to provide support and technical assistance.

  2. This is a disgrace. This is designed to dumb down the students making them easier to mold to socialist/communist ways. There are large groups of parents organizing to get rid of this sham of so-called education reform.

  3. We can no longer find the awesome graphics and recommendations that were available on the website. We still have several hard copies – but would love to be able to access the online resources for our Alternative Assessment Summit that is planned for tomorrow. Particularly helpful were the “Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified” and the “Planning for Proficiency-Based Learning” graphics. Much of the work that we have done so far has been based on these documents and recommendations.
    Our cross-systemic group of innovative stakeholders and big thinkers will be working to develop a system that will allow us to measure and document student achievement for alternative learners in ways that are valid with respect to alternative learning styles.

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