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.
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)
→ Health Education (.pdf / .doc)
→ Physical Education (.pdf / .doc)
→ Transferable Skills (.pdf / .doc)
• Dance (.pdf)
• Media Arts (.pdf)
• Music (.pdf)
• Theatre (.pdf)
• Visual Art (.pdf)
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