Maine to switch to proficiency-based model by 2018
Teaching methods in Maine are anticipated to change due to new state law requirements. Starting in 2018, high schools are required to issue diplomas based on student’s proficiency in eight content areas. These eight areas include career and education development, heath education and physical education, English language arts, science and technology, social studies, mathematics, and visual and performing arts along with world languages.
Schools in Maine have spent nearly a decade working towards this kind of learning. Last week, Jim Rier, the states Education Commissioner spent a day observing how teachers in the schools are using the proficiency-based education. He believes some changes need made in teaching methods to prevent some students from slipping through the cracks.
Rier feels that students need to be pushed in order to excel beyond expectations. He wants students who are falling behind to receive additional resources.
Bangor Superintendent, Betsy Webb, said proficiency-based education accelerates the learning experience so students are capable of reaching higher levels.
In addition, the new state standards will make minor modifications to student transcripts. Transcripts will show the eight determined content areas and the student’s proficiency levels in each instead of a list of classes. A quarterly report card for each student will disclose soft skills that highlight student’s accomplishments, level of ambition and personality.
Proficiency-based education is a great concept to implement in order to help push student to their full capabilities. These teaching methods focus on building on student strengths to pick them up and help them thrive. I am eager to hear how things go in 2018 when proficiency-based education requirements are in action and I think a lot of other states could take a cue and work towards these types of higher standards.