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Proficiency-based Learning at PPS

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In 2012, the Maine Legislature passed into law LD1422, An Act To Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy. The cornerstone of the law was the requirement that Maine transition to a standards-based educational system in which graduation from a Maine high school would be based on students demonstrating proficiency in meeting standards. This change was intended to result in greater transparency around what students are required to learn, to honor the fact that different learners need different amounts of time and support to reach the same targets, and to empower students to take greater ownership over their learning process.  Portland Public Schools’ initial implementation efforts were to define common learning standards across the middle and high schools and to revise expectations around what is required to earn a diploma.  

In 2017, PPS launched its updated comprehensive plan, The Portland Promise.  The Portland Promise outlines four big goals that were shaped by extensive input from educators across the entire district. These goals are Achievement, Whole Student, Equity and People.  The Portland Promise includes strategies that serve as the roadmap for the district-wide focus over the next 5+ years.  

As we enter into 2018 and look to the future, PPS intends to stay the course with its transition to a proficiency-based diploma, regardless of inevitable changes in the law.  We believe that a proficiency-based system aligns perfectly with our Portland Promise goals and that it is serving as a powerful catalyst for district-wide conversations and a movement towards more support of instruction. 

Resources:
Maine Graduation Requirements
PBL Resources for Parents
How Selective Colleges Evaluate Proficiency-based Transcripts