The Maine DOE released the 2015-16 transition funds to Maine school administrative units. The proficiency-based education transition grants, awarded annually to school administrative units since Oct. 2013, are intended to be used to support schools’ transition to proficiency-based learning and the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas.
Proficiency-based learning refers to a variety of diverse instructional practices and school structures focused on improving student learning. State law requires that beginning in 2018 (or beginning in subsequent years up to 2021 for SAUs that have been granted an extension) high schools must award diplomas based on students’ demonstrations of proficiency in eight content areas and the Guiding Principles. The intent of the law is to ensure Maine students graduate college and career ready, confident their diploma signifies they have the knowledge and skills needed for success in their next steps.
There is good reason to be concerned about supporting student learning. In the fall of 2014, state assessment results indicated that only 47.72 percent of Maine’s grade 11 students were proficient in the high school reading standards and 47.8 percent were proficient in the high school mathematics standards. Fall 2014 enrollment data for Maine’s community colleges indicated 46.1 percent of Maine first year students were enrolled in remedial courses in English language arts and/or mathematics. Across Maine, schools are focused on closing gaps in student learning and supporting student opportunity to learn and demonstrate proficiency of Maine’s content standards and Guiding Principles.
For more information, contact the Department’s Proficiency-Based Education Specialist Diana Doiron at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6823.
Information regarding proficiency-based learning and proficiency-based diplomas can be found at the Department’s Getting to Proficiency website.