Category Archives: Proficiency-Based Diploma

CTE Diploma Pathway in law

New Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways to Graduation through PL 489, “An Act To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council”

The Maine Department of Education is excited to outline some of the multiple pathways to earning a proficiency-based diploma that involve CTE enabled by Public Law Chapter 489, “An Act Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council,” signed into law by the Governor in April 2016. The new statute can be found in MRSA 20-A, §4722-A. The Maine DOE is currently engaged in rule-making to outline the parameters for these multiple pathways to graduation.

In addition to demonstrating proficiency in all content areas of the Maine Learning Results, other pathways have been identified through which Maine students may earn a proficiency-based diploma:

  • Satisfactory Completion of a State-approved CTE Program and Met 3rd Party-verified National or State Industry Standards 

Satisfactorily completing a state-approved CTE program and meeting 3rd party-verified national or state industry standards are of equal value to evidence of proficiency in a content areas of the system of learning results which contributes to the meeting the diploma requirements per the phase-in timeline pursuant to MRSA 20-A §4722-A (3)(B-2).

  • CTE and Content Intersections Process

State-approved CTE instructors and content area instructors from sending high schools may identify points of intersection where students can simultaneously demonstrate proficiency in high school content area reporting standards and proficiency in each guiding principle of the system of learning results while demonstrating proficiency in 3rd-party verified national and state industry standards pursuant to MRSA 20-A §8306 (B).

  • Instruction in Content Areas of the System of Learning Results at the CTE Center or Region

When scheduling conflicts or time restraints create an impediment to both the student’s opportunity to learn the content areas of the system of learning results and the opportunity to learn a state-approved CTE program of study, students are provided the opportunity to learn and demonstrate proficiency in the content areas of the system of learning results by teachers certified to teach in the content areas of the system of learning results at the state-approved CTE center or region.

  • Dual-enrollment CTE Programs Pursuant to MRSA 20-A Chapter 229

A non-duplicative learning pathway for a specific career and technical education program that provides secondary school students with the opportunity to take postsecondary education courses and earn credits toward an associate degree while participating in a career and technical education program that:

  • Learning Pathways; Articulation Agreements with Postsecondary Institutions; Collaborative Agreements

Pursuant to MRSA 20-A §8306-B(4), to the greatest extent possible, a career and technical education program offered at a center or region must provide students the opportunity to take advantage of any applicable learning pathways, including learning pathways set forth in an articulation agreement with a postsecondary institution or in a collaborative agreement with publicly supported secondary and postsecondary educational institutions that form a dual enrollment career and technical education program pursuant to MRSA 20-A §6972.

The Department is looking forward to the additional pathways students will be able to pursue, most notably through career and technical education, toward earning a proficiency-based high school diploma. For more information regarding Career and Technical Education contact Maine DOE Career and Technical Education Director, Meg Harvey, at 624-6739 or email For more information regarding proficiency-based learning and proficiency-based diplomas contact Maine DOE Proficiency-based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron, at 624-6823 or email

FAQ on proficiency diplomas and students with disabilities

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has developed responses to various questions from the field about what IEP teams are permitted to do in developing IEPs in Maine’s proficiency based diploma system. The Q&A is placed under the topic heading “Policies, Procedures & Effective Implementation”. The link to the Q&A document is here:

The Special Services webpage also includes a new webinar addressing students with reading difficulties and dyslexia. The webinar can be accessed here:

Guidelines for Local Entitlement Budget Modifications involving 10 percent or more of the total allocation may be found at

Please direct any questions to the Maine DOE’s Director of Special Services Jan Breton at

Maine DOE opens window for SAUs to complete 2016 progress report on proficiency-based diploma implementation

Public school superintendents and public charter school directors received a live link this week to the 2016 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-based Diplomas. A printable version of this progress report is available here.

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Maine DOE 2016 Survey for SAUs to report proficiency-based implementation progress

The following Priority Notice was sent on October 11, 2016

During the period of transition to proficiency-based learning and proficiency-based diplomas, SAUs are asked to report implementation progress annually.  The window for completing this year’s progress report is from October 11, 2016 through November 30, 2016. To preview this progress report, click here for a printable version of the 2015-2016 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-Based Diplomas. The online version of this progress report is available for SAUs to complete.

The Department’s goal is 100 percent participation on this survey. The information collected helps the Department chart progress toward implementation of proficiency-based diplomas and informs the development of additional resources and supports for districts. The aggregate of the information is shared with lawmakers and with the public

The 2016 progress report reflects the recently adopted timeline for phasing-in the proficiency-based diploma requirements and is a way for Maine districts to report vital data to the Maine DOE regarding the progress made from July 1, 2015-July 31, 2016. As such, this report generates a brief but important source of data for both districts and the State.

For more information please contact the Department’s Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at  or 624-6823.

Maine DOE to distribute funds to support proficiency-based diploma transition

In September, the Maine DOE will distribute grants to support the transition to proficiency-based diplomas to school administrative units operating schools.

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Deputy Commissioner joins radio show on WVOM

Deputy Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley joined the George Hale Ric Tyler Show on Bangor’s WVOM earlier this month. Beardsley talked about everything from forestry and the economy to testing and proficiency-based diplomas.

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Personalized learning: voices from the field

Maine educators shared their stories about personalizing learning at the New England Secondary Schools Consortium conference in March. The recording of this presentation is available for Maine educators interested in listening to these powerful accounts.

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Students advocate for learning…the marine studies way

Advocating for changing the age limit from 18 to 23 for obtaining a fishing license was the topic of discussion last month when five students from Deer Isle-Stonington High School  (DISHS) provided testimony in support of LD 1503 to the legislature Committee on Marine Resources. Each student’s testimony articulated the positive impact the bill’s proposed changes would have on their learning and their future careers. Many of the student testimonies pointed to the difficulty of meeting the 1000 hours and 200 days of fishing required for earning a license in the student apprentice program while simultaneously attending to their studies and earning a high school diploma.

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A snapshot of statewide implementation of proficiency-based education

Across the five Guiding Principles Maine school administrative units are making progress in providing students opportunity to demonstrate proficiency, and across the content areas, SAUs have made more progress on aligning curriculum and summative assessments to the standards than in reporting proficiency.  The data reveals that current implementation work in Maine SAUs most often focuses on shifts in instructional practice.

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Proficiency Council Preliminary Report presented to Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs

The Maine DOE and the Proficiency Council recently presented the Proficiency Council Preliminary Report to members of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs.

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