Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified helps schools develop effective standards-based teaching and learning systems that improve student learning.
“The chief problem is that there is simply too much to teach—arguably two to three times too much—and too many options for what can be taught.”
—Mike Schmoker and Robert J. Marzano, Realizing the Promise of Standards-Based Education

Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified is designed to help schools create efficient and effective systems that will ensure all students graduate prepared to succeed in the college, careers, and communities of the 21st century. For this reason, our model is focused on prioritizing and assessing the most critically important knowledge and skills, while also balancing high academic standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity in the classroom.

For proficiency-based learning to be effective, schools and teachers have to prioritize. They will need to determine what knowledge and skills students absolutely need to acquire before they graduate from high school, what content knowledge students need to learn in each subject area, and what essential benchmarks students need to meet as they progress through their education.

State standards provide the foundation—the grade-level learning progressions that teachers use to design their curriculum—but schools determine how standards will be implemented, including which standards must be met. In an ideal world, every student would meet every standard. But the reality is that teachers may not have the time to address every standard as comprehensively as they might want to, and not every student will master every standard. Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified recommends that schools prioritize the most essential knowledge and skills, and then work backward to design the curriculum. By using prioritization and the principles of backward design, schools can certify achievement of essential standards and significantly increase college and career preparation.

In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a practical and prioritized system of learning standards.

A Practical System of Standards

For proficiency-based learning to be effective, school leaders and teachers need to prioritize. They have to determine what critical skills students absolutely need to acquire before they graduate from high school, what content knowledge students need to know in each subject area, and what important benchmarks students need to meet as they progress through their education.

Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified provides a foundational structure that will help schools prioritize learning goals and build a more coherent academic program.

The following diagram illustrates how the Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified model works in practice:

Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified Graphic

Click on the image to download the diagram as a .PDF

Cross-Curricular Graduation Standards are aligned with cross-curricular state standards, and they should describe the most essential skills and habits of work that students will need to succeed in adult life. Students demonstrate achievement of cross-curricular graduation standards through a body of evidence, such as portfolios, exhibitions, or capstone projects that are evaluated using common rubrics.

Content-Area Graduation Standards are aligned with state standards and learning progressions, and they describe the most essential content knowledge that students will need to succeed in adult life. Students demonstrate achievement of content-area graduation standards through their aggregate achievement of performance indicators over time.

In general, the measurement of progress on graduation standards is determined at the end of elementary school (grade 5) and middle school (grade 8), and the final achievement of graduation standards is determined at the end of high school (grade 12). School districts may choose to structure their standards progressions differently or use different grade levels for measurement of progress.

Performance Indicators are aligned with content-area and cross-curricular state standards, and they provide more detailed descriptions of what it means to meet a graduation standard. Achievement of performance indicators may be determined using summative assessments—either common school-wide assessments for a content area and grade level, or course assessments developed by individual teachers. Over time, a student’s aggregate performance on summative assessments determines whether performance indicators have been met.

Learning Objectives are aligned with state standards and guide the design of curriculum units intended to move students toward proficiency and the achievement of performance indicators. Achievement of unit-based learning objectives is determined using formative assessments, and teacher feedback prepares students for summative assessments. Teachers provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their emerging proficiency.

→ Download Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified (.pdf)

Exemplar Standards: Maine

In collaboration with the Maine Department of Education, the Great Schools Partnership developed the following exemplar graduation standards and aligned performance indicators, which Maine schools can use or adopt when creating their own system of local learning standards and proficiency-based graduation requirements. The exemplar standards are aligned with the Maine Learning Results, which encompasses the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards in science and technology. Other relevant national standards were considered during the development process.

*NOTE: While the exemplar standards are aligned with Maine’s state standards, districts and schools in other states can still use the standards as a general model and starting point for discussion.

We have also included related tools and resources that will help schools develop their own local standards using the Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified model. Additional resources can be found on the Maine Department of Education’s Getting to Proficiency website.

Exemplar Content-Area Standards

→ English Language Arts (.pdf / .doc)
→ Mathematics (.pdf / .doc)
→  Science (.pdf / .doc)
→ Social Studies (.pdf / .doc)
→ Visual and Performing Arts (.pdf / .doc)
→ World Language (.pdf / .doc)
→ Health and Physical Education (.pdf / .doc)
→ Career and Education Development (.pdf / .doc)

Related Resources

Design Criteria Chart: Graduation Standards (.pdf)
→ Guidance on developing effective graduation Standards

 Design Criteria Chart: Performance Indicators (.pdf)
→ Guidance on developing effective performance indicators

Graduation Standards Protocol (.pdf)
→ A protocol that schools can use when developing graduation standards

Performance Indicators Protocol (.pdf)
→ A protocol that schools can use when developing performance indicators

Standards Language Crosswalk (.pdf)
The sample cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards were developed from the Maine Learning Results, which now include the Common Core State Standards in ELA and math, and are anticipated to include the Next Generation Science Standards. Because each state and national document expresses their standards framework differently, this crosswalk clarifies the distinction in language used between the proficiency-based learning model and each content area’s standards document.

Exemplar Standards: Vermont

Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs) are the locally-delineated set of content knowledge and skills connected to state standards that, when supplemented with any additional locally-developed requirements, have been determined to qualify a student for earning a high school diploma. Vermont’s Education Quality Standards (EQS) require that schools’ graduation requirements be rooted in demonstrations of student proficiency, as opposed to time spent in classrooms. This requirement will take effect in Vermont beginning with the graduating class of 2020.

The Vermont Agency of Education, in collaboration with Vermont educators and staff from Maine’s Great Schools Partnership, have developed a body of resources for schools, supervisory unions, and districts to use as they develop and implement PBGRs. The resources below include sample sets of graduation proficiencies that are specific to academic content areas (e.g. Math, English, Science), and sample graduation proficiencies for transferable skills that cross content areas (e.g. effective communication, creative and practical problem-solving). These resources also include additional supplemental guidance, including AOE interpretations of guiding state policy.

*NOTE: While the exemplar standards are aligned with Vermont’s state standards, districts and schools in other states can still use the standards as a general model and starting point for discussion.

Exemplar Content-Area Standards

→ English Language Arts and Literacy (.pdf / .doc)
→ Mathematics (.pdf / .doc)
→ Science (.pdf / .doc)
→ Global Citizenship (.pdf / .doc)
→ Visual and Performing Arts (.pdf / .doc)
→ Health Education (.pdf / .doc)
→ Physical Education (.pdf / .doc)
→ Transferable Skills (.pdf / .doc)

Related Resources

Connecting Transferable Skills with Content Area Proficiencies: Blank Template (.doc)
→ A resource for teachers who would like to connect transferable skills and content area learning goals through their instructional planning

Connecting Transferable Skills with Content Area Proficiencies: ELA Sample (.doc)
→ A populated version of the template developed through an ELA lens

Connecting Transferable Skills with Content Area Proficiencies: Health Education Sample (.doc)
→ A populated version of the template developed through a Health Education lens

Connecting Transferable Skills with Content Area Proficiencies: Physical Education Sample (.doc)
→ A populated version of the template developed through a Physical Education lens

Introduction to Vermont’s Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (.pdf)
→ Guidance on using the Vermont Agency of Education’s sample graduation proficiency documents

For more information and resources, visit the Vermont Agency of Education website

Connecticut’s Common Core of Learning

Connecticut’s Common Core of Learning (adopted 1997, revised 1998) and the accompanying Connecticut Framework K–12 Curricular Goals and Standards describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. The Connecticut Core Standards (adopted 2010) updated the Common Core of Learning in English language arts and mathematics. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the content-area standards, and the Foundational Skills and Competencies and Aspects of Character describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their K–12 education.

Websites
Common Core of Learning
Connecticut Core Standards

Foundational Skills and Competencies
All educated citizens must possess a core of basic, enabling skills and competencies that provide a foundation for broader acquisition of knowledge. These foundational, cross-disciplinary skills and competencies, applied in diverse ways, form the heart of an academic experience as each contributes to the development of understanding within and among the disciplines. Moreover, these skills and competencies are necessary for productive participation in society, and for life- long learning.

Reading
Students develop the proficiency, confidence and fluency in reading needed to meet the literacy demands of the 21st century.

As a result of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Read a variety of literary, informational and persuasive texts with understanding and meaningfully analyze, interpret, evaluate, and enjoy them.
  2. Read to understand, including identifying main and subordinate ideas, details and facts; to interpret; and to respond to a variety of written materials.
  3. Read to analyze, including making comparisons, drawing inferences and contrasts, and identifying sequence.
  4. Read to evaluate, including separating fact from opinion; recognizing propaganda, stereotypes and statements of bias; recognizing inconsistency; and judging the validity of evidence and sufficiency of support.
  5. Use the features and structure of books and other reference materials, such as table of contents, preface, introduction, titles and subtitles, index, glossary, appendix and bibliography.
  6. Improve comprehension by using a variety of strategies, including self-correcting, questioning, predicting, reviewing, and reading ahead.

Writing
Students develop the proficiency, confidence and fluency in writing needed to meet the literacy demands of the 21st century.

As a result of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Produce written materials which develop thoughts, share information, influence and persuade, and create and entertain.
  2. Use the conventions of standard English to communicate clearly.
  3. Demonstrate the use of elements of effective writing, including setting, purpose, presenting in a logical organization, and elaborating by selecting and using detailed examples, illustrations, and evidence.
  4. Select forms of expression for different audiences, including using appropriate style and voice.
  5. Improve their own writing, including redrafting, restructuring, revising, correcting errors, and editing.
  6. Gather information from primary and secondary sources to write reports using that information and the quotes, paraphrases, and summaries accurately.

Speaking, Listening, and Viewing
Students develop the proficiency, confidence, and fluency in speaking, listening, and viewing needed to meet the literacy demands of the 21st century.

As a result of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Comprehend verbal and nonverbal presentations at the literal, inferential and evaluative levels.
  2. Listen and view in order to analyze, clarify and establish context;
  3. Understand spoken instructions, give spoken instructions to others, ask meaningful questions, and answer questions correctly and concisely.
  4. Speak using appropriate conventions (usage and word choice), forms of expression (style and voice), and tools (technology and media).
  5. Deliver oral and visual presentations using a coherent sequence of thought, clarity of presentation, suitable vocabulary and length, and nonverbal communication appropriate for the purpose and audience.

Quantifying
Students develop the basic computational skills and mathematical techniques essential to understanding the numerical world and solving quantitative problems.

As a result of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Demonstrate number sense by using numbers for counting, measuring, comparing, ordering, scaling, locating, and labeling.
  2. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and integers; make estimates and approximations, and judge the reasonableness of results.
  3. Understand and use ratios, proportions and percents.
  4. Make and use measurements in both customary and metric units to approximate, measure and compute lengths, areas, volumes, mass, temperatures and time.
  5. Organize data into tables, charts and graphs, and read, interpret and draw conclusions from the data.
  6. Understand and apply basic algebraic and geometric concepts.

Problem Solving, Reasoning, and Creative Thinking
Students explore information and arguments from various points of view to think critically and creatively and to solve problems.

As a result of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Apply prior knowledge, abstract thinking, curiosity, imagination and creativity to solve problems.
  2. Use inductive reasoning to make, defend and evaluate conjectures and arguments, and deductive reasoning to justify assertions and verify tentative conclusions.
  3. Use problem-solving skills to formulate problems, identify patterns and trends, and make and justify decisions and predictions.
  4. Examine, define and redefine ideas and problems from a variety of perspectives.
  5. Create, imagine and explore new ideas to generate alternative strategies, consider advantages and disadvantages, and select among alternative possibilities.
  6. Assess the results of selected actions and respond constructively to unanticipated events or outcomes; and apply defensible criteria to make aesthetic and other qualitative judgments.

Learning Resources and Information Technology
By the end of Grade 12, students will be independent, competent and confident users of information and technology and able to apply related strategies for acquiring basic skills and content knowledge, communicating ideas, solving problems and pursuing personal interests.

As a result of education in Grades K–12, each student will:

  1. Identify and apply a wide range of educational technologies to conduct research, communicate information and ideas, create original works, organize data, and solve problems.
  2. Use effective and efficient strategies to explore and use an information- and technology-rich environment to gain knowledge, deepen understanding, and solve complex problems.
  3. Use technology to enhance essential skills and facilitate learning in the content areas; and apply the skills necessary to locate, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize information from print, nonprint, and electronic sources.

K–12 Content Standards

  1. Students will define their information needs and identify effective courses of action to conduct research, solve complex problems and pursue personal interests.
  2. Students will apply principles of organized information systems to learning endeavors.
  3. Students will demonstrate a command of information skills and strategies to locate and use effectively print, nonprint and/ or electronic resources to solve problems, conduct research, and pursue personal interests.
  4. Students will apply evaluative criteria to the selection, interpretation, analysis, reorganization, and synthesis of information from a variety of sources and formats.
  5. Students will use appropriate technologies to create written, visual, oral, and multimedia products to communicate ideas, information, or conclusions to others.
  6. Students will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their own choices and use of information and technology for problem solving and communication.
  7. Students will demonstrate the responsible and legal use of information resources, computers, and other technologies, recognizing the attendant social, economic, and ethical issues.

Working Independently and Collaboratively
Students work and learn independently (effectively allocating time, energy and resources) and collaboratively as part of a team (contributing to group efforts and understandings).

As a result of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Set rigorous, challenging and reasonable learning goals.
  2. Set priorities, allocate time and follow schedules to meet objectives.
  3. Assess progress and make necessary adjustments to meet goals.
  4. Demonstrate friendliness, adaptability, empathy and politeness in group settings.
  5. Develop productive and satisfying relationships with others based on mutual respect.
  6. Employ a variety of strategies for constructively resolving conflicts and participate actively in reaching group decisions and meeting group goals.
  7. Communicate ideas to justify positions, persuade others, and responsibly challenge existing procedures, policies and opinions.
  8. Work toward agreements by resolving divergent interests and opinions.
  9. Work effectively with women and men from all backgrounds.
  10. Understand the concepts of prejudice and bias, and the effect each has on interpersonal relations.

Aspects of Character

Responsibility and Integrity
Students demonstrate a sense of ethics and take responsibility for their commitments and actions.

As part of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Demonstrate honesty, dependability, and self-control.
  2. Assume responsibility for their behavior, think before they act, consider the possible consequences on all people affected by their actions, and assume responsibility for the consequences of those actions.
  3. Develop criteria for making informed judgments and decisions, and uphold their beliefs in order to conduct themselves in a moral, ethical, and legal manner.
  4. Assume primary responsibility for learning, including identifying their needs, and setting reasonable goals. 

Effort and Persistence
Students demonstrate the effort and persistence needed to be successful in school, work, and life.

As part of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Develop initiative to accept challenges and responsibilities which will help them grow and to which they can make a contribution.
  2. Persist on their own, without the need for close supervision.
  3. Persist until new material is mastered or until a job is done, and experience the pride of accomplishment that results from hard work.
  4. Act through a desire to succeed rather than a fear of failure, while recognizing that failure is a part of everyone’s experience.
  5. Take the risks necessary for fulfilling their ambitions, and persevere in the face of challenge and obstacles.
  6. Respond constructively to criticism, being willing and able to incorporate suggestions from others into their efforts to grow.

Intellectual Curiosity
Students actively explore the world of ideas.

As part of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Demonstrate inquiring attitudes, open-mindedness and curiosity.
  2. Create and explore new ideas and adapt existing ideas to generate alternative possibilities.
  3. Demonstrate independence of thought necessary for leadership and creativity.
  4. Pursue lifelong learning.

Respect
Students demonstrate respect for themselves and others.

As part of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Appreciate their worth as unique and capable individuals and exhibit self-esteem.
  2. Develop a sense of their effectiveness and a belief in their ability to shape their future.
  3. Demonstrate a sensitivity to, and respect for, the perspectives, opinions, needs and customs of others
  4. Judge others on their merits and be tolerant, appreciative and accepting of individual differences.

Citizenship and Sense of Community
Students are active, constructive members of the larger community.

As part of education in Grades K–12, students will:

  1. Develop a sense of belonging to a group larger than friends, family, and coworkers.
  2. Stay informed about and participate in decisions regarding school, community, state, country, and world.
  3. Develop an understanding of the importance of each individual to the improvement of the quality of life for all in the community.
  4. Understand and appreciate their historical and ethnic heritage as well as the heritage of others within the larger community.

→ Download the Connecticut Common Core of Learning (.pdf)

Maine’s Guiding Principles

The Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction (adopted 1997, revised 2007) describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. The Common Core State Standards (adopted 2011) updated the Maine Learning Results in English language arts and mathematics. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the content-area standards, and the Guiding Principles of the Maine Learning Results describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their K–12 education.

Websites
Maine Department of Education—Standards
Getting to Proficiency—Standards
Getting to Proficiency—Guiding Principles
Maine Learning Results
Common Core State Standards

A Clear and Effective Communicator who:

  1. Demonstrates organized and purposeful communication in English and at least one other language.
  2. Uses evidence and logic appropriately in communication.
  3. Adjusts communication based on the audience.
  4. Uses a variety of modes of expression (spoken, written, and visual and performing including the use of technology to create and share the expressions).

A Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner who:

  1. Recognizes the need for information and locates and evaluates resources.
  2. Applies knowledge to set goals and make informed decisions.
  3. Applies knowledge in new contexts.
  4. Demonstrates initiative and independence.
  5. Demonstrates flexibility including the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
  6. Demonstrates reliability and concern for quality.
  7. Uses interpersonal skills to learn and work with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

A Creative and Practical Problem Solver who:

  1. Observes and evaluates situations to define problems.
  2. Frames questions, makes predictions, and designs data/information collection and analysis strategies.
  3. Identifies patterns, trends, and relationships that apply to solutions.
  4. Generates a variety of solutions, builds a case for a best response and critically evaluates the effectiveness of the response.
  5. Sees opportunities, finds resources, and seeks results.
  6. Uses information and technology to solve problems.
  7. Perseveres in challenging situations.

A Responsible and Involved Citizen who:

  1. Participates positively in the community and designs creative solutions to meet human needs and wants.
  2. Accepts responsibility for personal decisions and actions.
  3. Demonstrates ethical behavior and the moral courage to sustain it.
  4. Understands and respects diversity.
  5. Displays global awareness and economic and civic literacy.
  6. Demonstrates awareness of personal and community health and wellness.

An Integrative and Informed Thinker who:

  1. Gains and applies knowledge across disciplines and learning contexts and to real life situations with and without technology.
  2. Evaluates and synthesizes information from multiple sources.
  3. Applies ideas across disciplines.
  4. Applies systems thinking to understand the interaction and influence of related parts on each other and on outcomes.

Maine Learning Results Guiding Principles Standards
The following Guiding Principles standards were developed in response to Maine Public Law 669, Section 9, Development of standards-based tools.

A. A Clear and Effective Communicator who:
Standard A: Understands the attributes and techniques that positively impact constructing and conveying meaning for a variety of purposes and through a variety of modes.

B. A Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner who:
Standard B: Understands the importance of embracing and nurturing a growth mindset.

C. A Creative and Practical Problem Solver who:
Standard C: Is skilled at selecting and applying a process of problem-solving to deepen understanding and determine whether redefining the goal is a better way of addressing a problem situation and continuing to consider other alternative solutions until one resonates as the best one.

D. A Responsible and Involved Citizen who:
Standard D: Understands the interdependence within and across systems and brings to each situation the appropriate actions.

E. An Integrative and Informed Thinker who:
Standard E: Is skilled at using complex reasoning processes to make meaning.

→ Download Maine’s Guiding Principles (.pdf)

New Hampshire’s Competency-Based Performance Standards

New Hampshire’s Curriculum Frameworks, Course-Level Competencies, and Competency-Based Performance Standards (adopted 2003) describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the course-level competencies. The Competency-Based Performance Standards describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their high school education.

Website
Course-Level Competencies

Ability to Work with Others
Proficiency in Ability to Work with Others means that the student will work effectively with others, including people from diverse backgrounds, and contribute to group efforts by sharing ideas, suggestions, and workloads.

The student proficient in the ability to work with others will demonstrate the ability to:

Grades 9–10

  1. Demonstrate individual strengths in group tasks.
  2. Demonstrate respect for cultural and individual differences.
  3. Demonstrate a variety of roles and responsibilities while working with others.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of group skills: listening, brainstorming, clarifying information, showing initiative, acknowledging contributions, defining group tasks, and responding positively to constructive feedback.
  5. Demonstrate skills in recognizing conflict and applying conflict management skills as needed.

Grade 11–12

  1. Apply her/his individual strengths to enhance a group’s performance.
  2. Assume responsibilities within a group.
  3. Demonstrate the use of group skills in a way that enhances a group’s performance.

Communication Skills
Proficiency in Communication Skills means that the student will use a variety of methods, including writing, speaking and discussing, visual aides or video/audio representations, appropriate to the purpose and audience, to communicate effectively.

Grades 9–10

  1. Develop a topic.
  2. Include details to support a main point.
  3. Use appropriate grammar, sentence structure, and vocabulary for clarity and effectiveness.
  4. Organize writing and/or presentation materials.
  5. Use constructive feedback to improve skill.
  6. Participate in discussion and conversation by listening, entering in, taking turns, responding to other’s remarks, asking questions, summarizing, and closing, as appropriate to the given context.
  7. Support her/his ideas in a public forum using the appropriate visual/audio aids.

Grade 11–12

  1. Select and use the appropriate media and method(s) to communicate the subject effectively.
  2. Adapt writing, speaking, and/or visual representations effectively to a particular audience.
  3. Respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal cues from the audience.

Decision Making and Problem Solving
Proficiency in Decision Making and Problem Solving means that the student will make developmentally appropriate decisions and will use problem solving strategies to investigate information and gain understanding in a variety of settings.

Grades 9–10

  1. Outline issues involved in a situation, problem, or challenge.
  2. Determine, collect, and organize necessary information.
  3. Identify possible solution(s).
  4. Compare and analyze the pros and cons of the possible solution(s).
  5. Develop and test strategies or options that might work.
  6. Provide examples of the strategies or options tested or tried.
  7. Through teamwork, arrive at a decision or determine a solution that is well suited to the task.

Grade 11–12

  1. Independently arrive at a decision or determine a solution that is well suited to the task.
  2. Communicate, in a clear format, how the solution was formed.
  3. Justify or describe how and why a particular solution option was chosen.

Information Use (Technology, Research, Analysis)
Proficiency in Information Use means that the student will use information-gathering techniques in collecting, analyzing, organizing, and presenting information.

Grades 9–10

  1. Show use of a plan for gathering information.
  2. Gather information from a variety of sources, using a variety of technologies.
  3. Use sources that are current and appropriate to the topic.
  4. Evaluate sources for correct and trustworthy information.
  5. Document sources of information appropriately.
  6. Use a filing/organization system for information, such as notebook, disk, etc.
  7. Develop a clear and useful outline.
  8. Develop a topic from thesis statement to conclusion.
  9. Use an appropriate amount and type of evidence to support thesis.

Grade 11–12

  1. Justify the use of a particular organizational system for a particular product.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusion.
  3. Effectively present a thesis, supporting evidence, and conclusion using writing, speaking/discussing, and audio/visual aids.
  4. Target presentation to the audience.

Self-Management
Proficiency in Self-Management means that the student will demonstrate individual qualities such as responsibility, the ability to manage one’s time and conduct, integrity, respect for self and others, flexibility, confidence, and a willingness to explore.

Grades 9–10

  1. Adhere to regulations in school, classroom, and everyday settings.
  2. Demonstrate consistency, dependability, and verbal positive-ness with others.
  3. Ask questions and listen to others.
  4. Keep track of assignments and/or responsibilities.
  5. Have work done on time.
  6. Follow through on commitments.
  7. Respond positively to constructive feedback.
  8. Show respect for others and their points of view.

Grade 11–12

  1. Set individual goals and document progress toward achieving those goals.
  2. Take initiative to pursue learning.
  3. Adapt as necessary to create a positive outcome for self and others.
  4. Advocate appropriately for her/him self.

 → Download New Hampshire’s Competency-Based Performance Standards (.pdf)

Rhode Island’s Applied Learning Standards

Rhode Island’s Grade Span Expectations (adopted 2003) describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. The Common Core State Standards (adopted 2010) updated the Grade Span Expectations in English language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards (adopted 2013) updated the Grade Span Expectations for science. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the content-area standards, and the Applied Learning Standards (revised 2005) describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their K–12 education. Rhode Island includes the Applied Learning Standards as part of its Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements.

Critical Thinking
The student detects incompleteness, inconsistency, and opportunities for expansion of ideas, products, procedures, etc. and formulates core questions and assertions about topics or areas of interest.

In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Identify needs that could be met by new products, services, systems, etc.
  2. Troubleshoot problems
  3. Analyzes the way a product, system service, etc. works taking into account appropriate considerations such as functional, aesthetic, social, environmental, and commercial requirements
  4. Analyze a system, product, service, etc. in terms of completeness and consistency

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Analyze the requirements of a role, responsibility or other type of challenge and use that understanding to shape his or her behavior, activity, and learning

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Analyze the purpose of a group and use that understanding to identify functions the group should have or new purposes
  2. Consult with and observe other students and adults to understand their roles in a group, team, or system

Problem Solving
The student organizes and conducts a process to create intellectual or physical products, hold an event, conduct a process, or otherwise move towards the solution of an identified issue or problem.

In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Devise strategies that address identified problems in systems of people, technology, or knowledge
  2. Design and create a product that meets an existing need or creates a new opportunity or capacity
  3. Plan and organize the implementation of a strategy designed to solve a problem or address and issue
  4. Adjust strategies, plans, and implementation as needed to incorporate new understanding or requirements
  5. Develop tests and strategies for putting procedures, protocols, and systems back in operation or to improve their performance

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Use what he or she learns from various sources of information (written, conversational, observation, etc.) to identify ways to improve his of her self-management abilities
  2. Use what he or she learns from various sources of information to plan, conduct, and monitor projects and other goal-directed activities
  3. In relation to groups and teams, the student can:
  4. Clarify or develop roles and responsibilities that enhance the effectiveness of a group or team
  5. Develop and implement schedules that enhance the effectiveness of a group or team

Research
The student uses information tools and technology to learn and deepen his or her understanding about a topic or area of interest.

In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Establish and use criteria for identifying relevant and credible information
  2. Identify potential sources of information relevant to a purpose and context
  3. Analyze information with respect to its origin, internal coherence, usefulness, and limitations
  4. Interpret the meaning and relevance of information in relation to a particular purpose, project, or activity
  5. Find and use information to develop an understanding of the way systems of people, technology, or knowledge work
  6. Appropriately use a variety of sources of information

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Consult with and observe others (students, teachers, advisors, etc.)
  2. Identify goals for the development of behavior, learning, and other activities
  3. Seek and respond to the advice and criticism of others

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Find information about group or team process (protocols for establishing responsibilities, connecting roles, conducting activities, etc.) that helps a real group or team operate more effectively
  2. Find information about what the group or team is attempting to accomplish that helps the group or team achieve their goal more effectively

Communication
The student questions, informs, and learns from others.

In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Recognize the need for information that others (peers, partners, clients, the public, etc.) have
  2. Shape the presentation of information to the needs and interests of a variety of audiences
  3. Explain the structures and infrastructures of systems
  4. Justify choices and decisions made in the development, implementation, and adjustment of problem solving strategies
  5. Appropriately use a variety of media and techniques to communicate about the development, implementation, and adjustment of problem solving strategies
  6. Persuade an informed audience that a solution to a problem is better than other possible solutions
  7. Exercise good judgment about the level of detail necessary to communicate an idea or a set of ideas
  8. Delivers a presentation of work on a problem (approaching the problem, proposing a solution, implementing a solution, or presenting a solved problem) that is coherent in its entirety
  9. Negotiate with clients about product specifications, timelines, etc.

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Identify needs for information she/he has and shape inquiries that produce this information
  2. Develop written and oral approaches to acquiring needed information as well as information in general that enhances the personal effectiveness of the student

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Identify the informational needs he or she has in relation to operating effectively in a team, group or organization and use a variety of communication strategies to acquire that information
  2. Consult with, and inform, other members of teams, groups or organizations the student belongs to
  3. Persuade others (members of teams, groups or organizations the student belongs to) about the legitimacy of a course of action, a position, or an activity the group would conduct

Reflection and Evaluation
The student reviews past activity and thinks critically about past activities and plans for the future (Reflection). The student thinks critically about a completed activity or project and uses insights based on the review to change planned activities (Evaluation).

In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Evaluate the product, service, system, etc. that results from a problem solving activity in terms of the established criteria or goals established for the outcome
  2. Support her or his evaluation of the effectiveness of a solution to a problem by referring to evidence
  3. Reflect on opportunities for further progress that build upon completed work
  4. Identify pitfalls and other dangers in the future conduct of work from experience gained in solving a problem

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Critique his or her work in light of expectations established by his or her self
  2. Reflect on the meaning of completed work and identifies opportunities for further progress based on past accomplishments

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Critique his or her work in light of expectations established by the group, team, or organization
  2. Evaluate the expectations the group has for itself and its members in relation to the group’s purpose
  3. Reflect on the value of group roles, responsibilities, and procedures

 → Download Rhode Island Applied Learning Standards (.pdf)

Vermont’s Vital Results

The Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities (adopted 2000) describes what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. The Common Core State Standards (adopted 2010) updated the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities in language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards (adopted 2013) updated the science standards. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the content-area standards, and the Vital Results describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their K–12 education.

Website
Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities

Communication Standards

Reading

  1. Students use a variety of strategies to help them read.
  2. Students read grade-appropriate material, with more than 90 percent accuracy, in a way that makes meaning clear.
  3. Students read for meaning, demonstrating both initial understanding and personal response to what is read.
  4. Students comprehend and respond to a range of media, images, and text (e.g., poetry, narrative, information, technical) for a variety of purposes (e.g., reading for pleasure as well as reading to develop understanding and expertise).

Writing

  1. Students draft, revise, edit, and critique written products so that final drafts are appropriate in terms of purpose, organization, details, and voice or tone.
  2. Students’ independent writing demonstrates command of appropriate English conventions, including grammar, usage, and mechanics.
  3. In written responses to literature, students show understanding of reading; connect what has been read to the broader world of ideas, concepts, and issues; and make judgments about the text.
  4. In written reports, students organize and convey information and ideas accurately and effectively.
  5. In written narratives, students organize and relate a series of events, fictional or actual, in a coherent whole.
  6. In written procedures, students organize and relate a series of events, fictional or actual, into a coherent whole.
  7. In persuasive writing, students judge, propose, and persuade.
  8. In personal essays, students write effectively.
  9. In writing poetry, students use a variety of forms.

Listening

  1. Students listen actively and respond to communications.
  2. Students critique what they have heard (e.g., music, oral presentation).
  3. Students use verbal and nonverbal skills to express themselves effectively.
  4. Students use a variety of forms, such as dance, music, theater, and visual arts, to create projects that are appropriate in terms of skill development, reflection and critique, making connections, and approach to work.
  5. Students interpret and communicate using mathematical, scientific, and technological notation and representation.

Information Technology

  1. Students use computers, telecommunications, and other tools of technology to research, to gather information and ideas, and to represent information and ideas accurately and appropriately.
  2. Students use organizational systems to obtain information from various sources (including libraries and the Internet).
  3. Students use graphs, charts, and other visual presentations to communicate data accurately and appropriately.
  4. Students select appropriate technologies and applications to solve problems and to communicate with an audience.
  5. Students employ a variety of techniques to use simulations and to develop models.

Reasoning and Problem Solving Standards

Questioning

  1. Students ask a variety of questions.

Problem Solving

  1. Students use reasoning strategies, knowledge, and common sense to solve complex problems related to all fields of knowledge.
  2. Students solve problems of increasing complexity.
  3. Students devise and test ways of improving the effectiveness of a system.
  4. Students produce solutions to mathematical problems requiring decisions about approach and presentation.

Approach

  1. Students apply prior knowledge, curiosity, imagination, and creativity to solve problems.
  2. Students respond to new information by reflecting on experience and reconsidering their opinions and sources of information.

Abstract and Creative Thinking

  1. Students demonstrate a willingness to take risks in order to learn.
  2. Students persevere in the face of challenges and obstacles.
  3. Students generate several ideas, using a variety of approaches.
  4. Students represent their ideas and/or the ideas of others in detailed form.
  5. Students modify or change their original ideas and/or the ideas of others to generate innovative solutions.
  6. Students design a product, project, or service to meet an identified need.
  7. Students plan and organize an activity.

Personal Development

Worth and Competence

  1. Students assess their own learning by developing rigorous criteria for themselves, and use these to set goals and produce consistently high-quality work.
  2. Students assess how they learn best, and use additional learning strategies to supplement those already used.
  3. Students demonstrate respect for themselves and others.

Healthy Choices

  1. Students identify the indicators of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional health for their age and/or stage of development.
  2. Students make informed, healthy choices that positively affect the health, safety, and well-being of themselves and others.
  3. Students demonstrate competency in many and proficiency in a few of the skills and concepts needed for a lifetime of physical activity.

Making Decisions

  1. Students make informed decisions.
  2. Students demonstrate an understanding of personal economic decisions, and account for their decisions.
  3. Students make decisions that demonstrate understanding of natural and human communities, the ecological, economic, political, or social systems within them, and awareness of how their personal and collective actions affect the sustainability of these interrelated systems.

Relationships

  1. Students perform effectively on teams that set and achieve goals, conduct investigations, solve problems, and create solutions (e.g., by using consensus-building and cooperation to work toward group decisions).
  2. Students interact respectfully with others, including those with whom they have differences.
  3. Students use systematic and collaborative problem-solving processes, including mediation, to negotiate and resolve conflicts.
  4. Students analyze their roles and responsibilities in their family, their school, and their community.

Workplace

  1. Students demonstrate dependability, productivity, and initiative.
  2. Students know about various careers.
  3. Students develop a plan for current and continued education and training to meet personal and career goals.

Civic/Social Responsibility Standards

Service

  1. Students take an active role in their community.
  2. Students participate in democratic processes.

Human Diversity

  1. Students demonstrate understanding of the cultural expressions that are characteristic of particular groups.
  2. Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of prejudice, and of its effects on various groups.

Change

  1. Students understand continuity and change.
  2. Students demonstrate understanding of the relationship between their local environment and community heritage and how each shapes their lives.

 → Download Vermont’s Vital Results (.pdf)


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