This article explores possible impacts of the new Maine state laws that require proficiency-based diplomas for graduation. It discusses the concern of some educators about students who may not be ready to demonstrate the needed proficiencies due to language barriers, behavioral issues, or because they were previously passed from grade to grade without demonstrating true academic progress. While schools and districts are working to support these students, some worry it won’t be enough fast enough. The article outlines work by district AOS 94 to create a new type of diploma in order to address this concern. The proposed diploma would show four levels of proficiency, including basic skills and career-ready, community college and career-ready, 4-year college-ready, and mastery level.
There is controversy around this approach as only the top two levels indicate proficiency at a 12th grade level. The state will continue to refine rules and provide guidance to districts. The concerns raised in this article will interest all educators in states adopting or considering adoption of proficiency-based diplomas, as states, districts, and schools work through the growing pains of implementation.
Source Organization: Bangor Daily News