Posts Tagged ‘high school graduation’


Maine’s High School Diploma

October 8, 2017

Chapter 134

After careful review of all oral and written comments received by the Maine DOE regarding proposed rule Chapter 134, Regulations for Awarding a High School Diploma, the Maine DOE has made the decision to withdraw the current proposed rule and restart the rulemaking process after a brief pause for conceptual conversations. The conceptual conversations will provide an opportunity to explore areas needing greater clarity in the current proposed rule Chapter 134. The Maine DOE remains committed to the proficiency-based diploma law (20-A MRS 4722-A) and remains committed to drafting a proposed rule that supports the implementation of a diploma based on evidence of proficiency.

The Department intends to start a new rulemaking process for proposed rule Chapter 134 once the following steps have been taken:

  1. During the month of October, Maine DOE’s Proficiency-based Education (PBE) Specialist will reach out to professional organizations to invite representatives from each of their stakeholder groups (superintendents, principals, curriculum leaders, teachers, parents, and school board members) to engage in small (approximately 15 participants), role-alike, conceptual discussions regarding equitable access to a high school diploma and student readiness for entering career and college opportunities after high school. A randomly selected high school from each superintendent region will be contacted to engage in small (approximately 15 participants) conceptual conversations with students. These conceptual discussions will be facilitated by the Maine DOE PBE Specialist and guided by the following discussion prompts. (The Commissioner and other Maine DOE members may join the conversations as their schedules allow.):a.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: The knowledge, required skills, and qualifications required for entrance into post-secondary opportunities in industry, trade, business, and higher education vary.What do you see is needed to prepare students for their post-secondary next step?

    b.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: The transcript and diploma are inseparable companion documents that together articulate a student’s readiness for the postsecondary next step she or he has chosen.

    What do you see is needed to clearly articulate a student’s readiness for the postsecondary next step she or he has chosen?

    c.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: The high school transcript must clearly communicate the student’s proficiency across the grade span progressions (preschool-grade 2; grades 3-5; grades 6-8; grades 9-12) thus providing a clear, accurate communication of what the student has achieved and what the diploma based on proficiency represents for each student.

    What do you see is needed to clearly articulate what a student has learned?

    d.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: Every student needs a personal learning plan and a small team whose primary goal is to understand the student’s aspirations, strengths, challenges, contexts of his or her life. The team works collaboratively with the student and others to provide the student access to learning experiences that support her or him so that she or he may learn as close to full potential as humanly possible. The focus on the team is always on the student developing competencies that will support her or his aspirations and development of efficacy towards these aspirations as well as the student’s ability to reach the highest grade span proficiency level possible while eligible to attend our public schools.

    What do you see is needed to increase the probability that a student will graduate ready for his or her postsecondary next step?

    e.) To what degree do you agree or disagree with this statement and why: Statewide agreement regarding what proficiency means or looks like in each grade span progressions (preschool-grade 2; grades 3-5; grades 6-8; grades 9-12) is necessary to support student opportunity to learn and demonstrate proficiency.

    What do you see is needed to support opportunity to learn and demonstrate proficiency across the state?

    f.) Would you be willing to share a final thought as a result today’s conversation

  2. Taking into consideration the insights gained from the upcoming conceptual discussions and the September public comments, the Maine DOE staff will write a new proposed rule Chapter 134 and begin again the Maine Administrative Procedures Act (A.P.A.) routine technical rule process pursuant to 5 MRS §8052 (public notice of filing, public hearing, open public comment period).The Maine DOE is working diligently to honor the integrity and vision for the high school diploma and transcript articulated in Maine education statute 20-A MRS §4722-A as well as the routine technical rulemaking pursuant to section §4722-A subsection 7. Maine DOE believes public input is a critically important.

It is clear from the oral and written comments submitted on proposed rule Chapter 134 that there is commitment in Maine to provide opportunity for all students to learn as much as they can the entire time the students are eligible to attend our public schools. It is also clear that the diploma has great social meaning and currency in our society. Clearly evident in the comments is that equity sits at the heart of the debate regarding what constitutes sufficient evidence for proficiency. We have provided links below to both the oral and written comments received by the September 8thdeadline.

Recorded public hearing and the written comments received by September 8, 2017 for proposed rule Chapter 134 submitted by September 8, 2017.

For more information on proposed rule Chapter 134 and the diploma based on proficiency, contact Maine Department of Education Proficiency-Based Education Specialist, Diana Doiron at


LD 1422 Webinar

May 12, 2014

MAAI webinar, May 7

The third of a series of four webinars for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was held on Wednesday, May 7, entitled “LD 1422: digging deeper into the new Proficiency expectations for Maine’s schools and Arts classrooms”. In coming up with this particular webinar, facilitators Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg were reacting to what they both believed has been a lot of misunderstanding and a great lack of clarity around the new law which states that all High Schools will be issuing diplomas, “based on student demonstration of proficiency”. The hour with nearly 20 attendees, including the Maine Department of Education new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Mr. Kevin Facer, allowed the opportunity to de-mystify it, and to discuss its ramifications as it pertains to Visual and Performing Arts.

The first part gave an overview of LD 1422, with links to valuable resources at the Maine Department of Education. Catherine and Rob went through the important details pertaining to how it relates to VPA, the Maine Guiding Principles which all students will be required to meet, and a few thoughts around the concept of “multiple pathways” to demonstrate proficiency. An extended conversation was had around proficiency in the arts and what that actually can mean in practice. Information very specific about what that looks like in the classroom, and articulation of the next steps for everyone to get there, regardless of where you are presently.

Finally, there was a give and take conversation around relevant questions and observations from the MAAI Teacher leaders last Summer. Some of these included, “Once established, this will inform curricular and instructional decisions?”, “How do we establish proficiencies while leaving room for creativity?”, “You cannot define proficiency until the “vagueness” is taken out of the standards… is this a road we want to go down?” and “How do we find time to do everything and teach at the same time?” Along the way, webinar attendees asked some very pointed questions as well and shared some great insights.

In debunking myths or misinterpretations, and showing how the Arts can proactively move toward proficiency, the hope is that attendees and those utilizing the archive and meeting plans can get a leg up, perhaps even on the other content areas in our own buildings, and truly be leaders as we move toward this next chapter in Maine education. In this vein, it is strongly encouraged that arts teachers spend some time viewing the archive: the live links alone will make this worth your while, while the conversations will add clarity for what is expected of arts teachers in the months and years to come.

On Wednesday, June 4, we will be holding a related webinar, featuring the ongoing work MAAI has undertaken creating a rich Resource Bank for the Visual and Performing Arts. Please plan on joining Catherine and Rob from 3:30 to 4:30 on that first Wednesday of June. In the meantime, you can access the archive of the May 7 webinar at You can access the professional development meeting plans that accompany the webinar at (available tomorrow). You may utilize with this with your building and district VPA colleagues.

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