In proficiency-based education systems, clearly articulated learning standards that define student expectations play an important role in learning and instruction. Often in educational conversations and resources, the word “standard/s” appears in multiple contexts that can sometimes confound rather than clarify.
The term “standards” in Maine’s proficiency-based education statute refers to the Maine learning standards (the Maine Learning Results content area standards and Guiding Principles) and these are the targets for student proficiency. When reporting on students’ progress towards proficiency in each content area and the Guiding Principles, the following two questions are important for school leaders to consider.
- Does the district’s organizational schema for the standards represent a comprehensive picture of the core ideas of the Maine Learning Results standards?
- What level of student performance is sufficient for a demonstration of student proficiency?
Districts will make the decisions about the organization for comprehensively reporting the core ideas of the State standards and Guiding Principles. The Maine DOE has recently added a new Standards in a Proficiency-Based Education page to its Getting to Proficiency website with resources intended to support educators as they make these local decisions.