The Great Schools Partnership created our Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning to help schools develop efficient standards-based systems that will prepare all students for success in the colleges, careers, and communities of the 21st century. For this reason, our model is focused on prioritizing and assessing the most vitally important knowledge and skills, while also balancing these high academic expectations with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity in the classroom.
Throughout this website, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a proficiency-based system. We have strived to keep our guidance concise and practical, focusing only on the most essential policies, processes, and practices. In addition, we see our model as an iterative process, and we intend to revise, improve, and expand our resources over time
For all Spanish language resources, click here.
About Proficiency-Based Learning
Our Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning provides a foundational structure that will help schools prioritize learning goals and build a more coherent academic program. The two documents in this section illustrate how this model works in practice.
- Beliefs and Practices of Proficiency-Based Learning
- Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning
- Building Proficiency Systems
State + Local Policies
In this section, school leaders will find a variety of exemplar district policies that can be adapted to suit local needs and contexts. The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or revise our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.
- State Policies: New England Secondary School Consortium
- District and School Policy Checklist
- District Policy Exemplar: Graduation Requirements
- District Policy Exemplar: Multiple Pathways
- District Policy Exemplar: Academic Recognition
- District Policy Exemplar: Transcripts
- District Policy Exemplar: Grading and Reporting System
- District Policy Exemplar: Dual Enrollment and Early College
- District Policy Exemplar: Academic Eligibility for Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation
- District Policy Exemplar: Academic Support
- District Policy Exemplar: Demonstration of Learning: Exhibitions, and Capstone Project
- District Policy Exemplar: Proficiency-Based Education
State + Local Competencies
In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a practical and prioritized system of learning competencies.
- A Practical System of Standards
- Exemplar Standards: Maine
- Exemplar Standards: Vermont
- Connecticut’s Common Core of Learning
- Maine’s Guiding Principles
- New Hampshire’s Competency-Based Performance Standards
- Rhode Island’s Applied Learning Standards
- Vermont’s Vital Results
Assessment + Verification
In this section, district and school leaders will find guidance on what to assess, how to assess it, and how to verify and report student proficiency in relation to competencies.
- Verifying Proficiency: Graduation Standards
- Verifying Proficiency: Performance Indicators
- Verifying Proficiency: Scoring Criteria
- Learning and Assessment Pathways
- Designing and Assessing Homework
Grading + Reporting
In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a proficiency-based grading and reporting system.
- Grading Principles and Guidelines
- Research Supporting Grading and Reporting
- Designing a Grading System
- Communicating the Grading System
- Selecting an Online Grading and Reporting System
- Habits of Work Grading and Reporting
- Casco Bay High School Habits of Work Grading and Reporting
- KIPP and Riverdale’s Seven Highly Predictive Strengths
- Academic Recognition and Latin Honors
- Exemplar High School Transcript
- Exemplar High School Profile
Communication, Problem Solving, Informed Thinking, Self Direction, and Collaboration, are essential skills that students should practice across content areas and will need in any form of postgraduate training, study, or career. For more information, including resources and how to get involved, visit this page.
In this section, we provide a selection of statements and references that support the foundational features and practices of proficiency-based learning systems.
- Research Supporting Learning Standards
- Research Supporting Assessment Practices
- Research Supporting Grading + Reporting
- Research Supporting Instructional Strategies
- Surveys of College Educators and Employers
On this page we have comprised a selection of entries from our Glossary of Education Reform in order to provide a comprehensive introduction to learning competencies and how they work in our education system.
On this page, students, parents, teachers, community members, and school leaders will find statements and letters from a range of public and private institutions of higher education from across New England stating—unequivocally—that students with proficiency-based grades and transcripts will not be disadvantaged in any way during the college admissions process.
Planning for Proficiency: A Guide for Maine School Leaders
This Guide was developed to offer strategies and activities to successfully complete the essential steps in planning and implementing a proficiency-based learning system in your high school. The Guide, a series of info briefs, outlines key issues and strategies for successful implementation.
Creative Commons All the resources on this site have been published under a Creative Commons license, which lets schools remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, as long as they credit us and license their new creations under the identical terms. While we retain the original copyright on the work, you can republish or repurpose anything on this site as long as you (1) credit the Great Schools Partnership as the source of the work; (2) do not sell or use the work commercially in any way; and (3) republish all work, including derivative or modified work, under an identical Creative Commons license so that others can also republish and built upon the work.
Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.