Guiding Principles performance assessment tasks to support proficiency-based diplomas

The Maine DOE is currently collaborating with the Maine Curriculum Leaders Association and the Cohort for Customized Learning to develop performance assessment tasks aligned to the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results. The Guiding Principles include five areas: being a clear and effective communicator, a self-directed and life-long learner, a creative and practical problem solver, a responsible and involved citizen, and an integrative and informed thinker.

These performance assessment tasks for the Guiding Principles will serve as a resource to districts as they prepare to graduate students in a proficiency-based system.  School districts are now working to ensure that Maine’s current eighth-grade students are able to demonstrate proficiency in the standards of the Maine Learning Results and the Guiding Principles in order to earn a diploma at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Beyond producing assessment tasks for district use, this collaborative effort will generate important examples of student proficiency. The performance assessment tasks which may draw from more than one content area and are designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate evidence of proficiency in the Guiding Principles. For example, a performance assessment task may provide students the opportunity to demonstrate effective communication in mathematics and social studies or creative and practical problem solving in health education and English language arts. The Maine DOE will make available to districts the performance assessment tasks, examples of student proficiency and Guiding Principles scoring rubrics. Districts may use any or all of these resources to support their proficiency-based systems.

The development of performance assessment tasks for the Guiding Principles is being support with technical assistance from the Center for Collaborative Education (Boston, Mass). Teachers from 22 Maine districts are participating in the development, piloting and refinement of these performance assessment tasks.  The Maine DOE will add these resources this fall to its Getting to Proficiency: Helping Maine Graduate Every Student Prepared website.