Commissioner’s Update – October 30, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Earlier this year, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems to support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018.

I continue to be appreciative of the positive feedback we regularly receive in response to offering that flexibility. Many educators and district leaders have commented that while they had initially been uncertain about the extension application process, it ended up being a valuable opportunity for reflection that helped focus local efforts moving forward to best ensure quality implementation.

But nothing has been more encouraging than seeing the high number of extension applications and confirmations of readiness that the Department received by the Oct. 18 final deadline. To date, 95 applications/confirmations representing 99 high schools have been submitted and we have been contacted by superintendents representing seven other high schools that their applications are forthcoming following local school board approval. This overwhelming response reflects the statewide commitment to better preparing our students for college and career success.

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