The Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning 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.
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 Framework for Proficiency-Based Learning. 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)
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
Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.