Posts Tagged ‘proficiency based education’

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Happening at the Legislature

June 26, 2018

Proficiency-Based Diploma

Last week the Maine Legislature reconvened and worked on LD 1666: “An Act To Ensure the Successful Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas by Extending the Timeline for Phasing in Their Implementation”.  As a result the Maine State Senate voted in favor of the House’s amendment. Next step: the Governor, for support or veto. If the amendment is signed, school districts would have a choice to offer a proficiency-based diploma or return to the credit-based diploma.

To learn more please CLICK HERE.

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In Today’s News

March 30, 2018

Karen MacDonald on Proficiency Based Education

“I recently retired from the classroom after 37 years of teaching. At the middle school where I taught, we transitioned to a proficiency-based model during the last few years of my career. That change was a consequence of our decision to separate the reporting of academic learning from the reporting of work habits and share this more honest information with parents and students. The change was also about being very explicit about the important learning at each grade level and how we would effectively teach and assess that learning. Finally, we made the shift to provide students and parents with clear guidelines for demonstrating proficiency in a specific area”.

The article was published in the Maine Press Herald, March 29. Read the entire article HERE. Be sure and read the comments as well.

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In Today’s News

March 4, 2018

Maine rethinks giving diplomas only to students who demonstrate proficiency in key subjects

Portland Press Herald written by Noel K. Gallagher, March 4, 2018.

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R.S.V.P. ME

April 24, 2016

April 26

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 2.26.22 PMPlease join Maine educators on Tuesday, April 26th, 3:30 to 5:00 for the last R.S.V.P. ME meeting of the 2015-2016 school year.

This virtual meeting will be a roundtable discussion about how teachers are creating paths to Proficiency-Based Education. Across the state teachers are developing programs to help students adjust to the new demands of Proficiency-Based Education as independent and self-directed learners. This zoom meeting is to provide you with strategies to adjust to the teaching and learning environment. Sign up to share them on Tuesday, April 26th!

To participate in this Zoom Online Video Conference – and earn 1.5 contact hours as a Maine Art Education Association member – email lisa.ingraham@msad59.org. You can also contact me anytime with questions and comments.

*The April R.S.V.P. ME meeting has been moved from April 12th to April 26th.

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Proposed Legislation

March 3, 2016

Public Hearing Monday, March 7, 11:00

IMG_3637‘An Act to Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council’, LD 1627, is scheduled for public hearing in front of the legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on Monday, March 7, 11:00 am in Room 202, Cross Office Building, Augusta.

The current language proposes students demonstrate proficiency in English language arts and mathematics and two other content areas. 

The bill text can be found at THIS LINK or it is located at the bottom of this blog post. The Committee hears both written and in-person testimony for bills (either for, against, or neither for nor against). Anyone interested in providing testimony please deliver written testimony by emailing jayne.deneen@legislature.maine.gov (LD1627 in the subject line).

To submit written testimony via the postal service mail:
Jayne Deneen, Committee Clerk
Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0100

To deliver testimony in person at the hearing on Monday, March 7, 11:00 AM, Cross Office Building, Room 201, the information on public hearings and procedures is located at:   http://legislature.maine.gov/house/testify.htm.

LD1627

An Act To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

     Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §4511, sub-§3, ¶J  is enacted to read:

J.  The school demonstrates evidence of sufficient capacity through multiple pathways as set out in section 4703 for students to reach proficiency in each of the content areas of the system of learning results established under section 6209 and in each of the guiding principles set forth in department rules governing implementation of the system of learning results established pursuant to section 6209.

     Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §4722-A,  as amended by PL 2015, c. 267, Pt. C, §3; c. 342, §1; and c. 367, §1; and corrected by RR 2015, c. 1, §14, is further amended to read:

§ 4722-A. Proficiency-based diploma standards and transcripts

Beginning January 1, 2017, a diploma indicating graduation from a secondary school must be based on student demonstration of proficiency as described in this section. The commissioner may permit a school administrative unit to award diplomas under this section prior to January 1, 2017 if the commissioner finds that the unit’s plan for awarding diplomas meets the criteria for proficiency-based graduation under this section.

     1. Requirements for award of diploma.  In order to receive award to a student a diploma indicating graduation from secondary school, a student school subject to the system of learning results established under section 6209 must:

A. Demonstrate that the student engaged in educational experiences relating to English language arts, mathematics and science and technology in each year of the student’s secondary schooling;
B.  Demonstrate Certify that the student has demonstrated proficiency in meeting state graduation standards established by rule in all the content areas of English language arts and mathematics in the system of learning results established under section 6209;
B-1.  Certify that the student has demonstrated proficiency in meeting state graduation standards in at least 2 content areas in addition to English language arts and mathematics in the system of learning results established under section 6209;
C.  Demonstrate Certify that the student has demonstrated proficiency in each of the guiding principles set forth in department rules governing implementation of the system of learning results established pursuant to section 6209; and
C-1.  Certify the highest standard of proficiency achieved by the student in each content area of the system of learning results established under section 6209;
C-2.  Certify that the student has demonstrated by objective measures college and career readiness as evidenced by skills in problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. These objective measures must be established through major substantive rules adopted pursuant to this chapter and may include measures of advanced placement exams, advanced placement courses, dual enrollment credits in college English and mathematics courses, international baccalaureate exams or college readiness placement assessments, attendance rates, community service, cocurricular activities, workplace learning experience, industry credentials or dual enrollment credits in career and technical education courses; and
D.  Meet Certify that the student has met any other requirements specified by the governing body of the school administrative unit attended by the student.
     2. Method of gaining and demonstrating proficiency.  Students must be allowed to gain proficiency through multiple pathways, as described in section 4703, and must be allowed to demonstrate proficiency by presenting multiple types of evidence, including but not limited to teacher-designed or student-designed assessments, portfolios, performance, exhibitions, projects and community service.

     3. Exceptions.  Notwithstanding subsection 1, a student may be awarded a diploma indicating graduation from a secondary school in the following circumstances.

A. A student who is a child with a disability, as defined in section 7001, subsection 1-B, and who achieves proficiency as required in subsection 1, as specified by the goals and objectives of the child’s individualized education plan, may be awarded is eligible to receive a high school diploma.
B. A student who has satisfactorily completed the freshman year in an accredited degree-granting institution of higher education may be is eligible to receive a high school diploma from the secondary school the student last attended.
B-1. A student who has satisfactorily completed the junior and senior years in a dual enrollment career and technical education program formed pursuant to chapter 229 and who successfully demonstrates proficiency as required in subsection 1 may be in meeting state graduation standards in the content areas of English language arts and mathematics as well as the guiding principles in the system of learning results established under section 6209 or by an articulation agreement established under section 8306-B, subsection 4 is eligible to receive a high school diploma from the secondary school the student last attended.
B-2.  A student who has satisfactorily completed a state-approved career and technical education program and met 3rd-party-verified national or state standards as required by rule pursuant to section 8306-B and who successfully demonstrates proficiency in meeting state graduation standards in the content areas of English language arts, mathematics and one other content area as well as the guiding principles in the system of learning results established under section 6209 is eligible to receive a high school diploma from the secondary school the student last attended.
D. A school administrative unit may award a high school diploma to a student who has met the standards set forth in a waiver request that was approved by the commissioner pursuant to section 4502, subsection 8.

E. A person may be awarded a high school diploma, including a posthumous award, if the person or a family member of the person applies to a secondary school and:

       (1) The person:

                     (a) Attended a secondary school in the geographic area now served by    the secondary school from which a diploma is requested; or

                     (b) Resides at the time of application for a diploma in the geographic area served by the secondary school from which a diploma is requested;

     (2) The person did not graduate or receive a diploma from a secondary school because the person left secondary school to serve in the Armed Forces and served during the following periods:

                    (a) World War II, from December 7, 1941 to August 16, 1945;

                    (b) The Korean Conflict;

                    (c) The Vietnam War era, from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975;  or

                    (d) The period of wartime or peacetime after a period of wartime described in division (a), (b) or (c); and

     (3) The person received an honorable discharge or a certificate of honorable service from the Armed Forces.

For the purposes of this paragraph, “Armed Forces” means the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps , and Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines merchant marine.

     4. Grants; contingent extension of full implementation.  During the period of transition to proficiency-based graduation in accordance with this section, the department, if funds are available, shall make annual transition grants to each school administrative unit equal to 1/10 of 1% of the school administrative unit’s total cost of education calculated under section 15688, subsection 1 to be used in the manner determined by the school administrative unit to fund the costs of the transition not otherwise subsidized by the State through the 2014-2015 school year. The date for implementation of the awarding of diplomas based on student demonstration of proficiency as described in this section is extended one year for each year for which transition grants are not made available to a school administrative unit or for which levels of general purpose aid for local schools fall below school year 2012-2013 levels. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year through the 2020-2021 school year, the department, if funds are available, shall make annual transition grants to each school administrative unit that operates schools equal to 1/9 of 1% of the school administrative unit’s total cost of education calculated under section 15688, subsection 1 to be used in the manner determined by the school administrative unit to fund the costs of the transition not otherwise subsidized by the State.
     5. Transcripts and certification of content area proficiency.  A school administrative unit may shall certify a student’s content area proficiency and may award a certificate of content area proficiency as a part of the high school transcript to a student for each content area in the system of learning results established under section 6209 in which the student has demonstrated proficiency. A certificate Certification of content area proficiency may must be included in the student’s permanent academic transcript, and a student may use a certificate certification of content area proficiency as an official credential of academic achievement for the purposes of employment and postsecondary education. If When a school administrative unit awards certificates of certifies content area proficiency, it shall report its issuance of certificates these certifications of content area proficiency to the department, and the department may collect and aggregate these data as evidence of intermediate progress towards high school graduation goals of readiness for college and careers. Schools may supplement reports on college and career readiness with other evidence of postsecondary student success.
     6. Implementation of proficiency-based diplomas and transcripts.  Beginning in the 2015-2016 2016-2017 school year, the department shall annually collect and report data on the progress of public schools and public charter schools towards the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas and transcripts in relation to the ongoing transition plan required pursuant to section 4502, subsection 1, including the number of students graduating with proficiency-based diplomas and , the number of students awarded proficiency concluding their high school careers proficient in each of the content areas of the system of learning results established under section 6209 and in each of the guiding principles set forth in department rules governing implementation of the system of learning results established pursuant to section 6209 and the number of students certified as ready for college and careers. By January 15, 2017, and annually thereafter, the department shall provide an annual report of the data collected for the prior school year to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters, and the department shall post the annual report on its publicly accessible website.

     Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §6209, first ¶,  as amended by PL 2015, c. 40, §5, is further amended to read:

     The department in consultation with the state board shall establish and implement a comprehensive, statewide system of learning results, which may include a core of standards in English language arts and mathematics for kindergarten to grade 12 established in common with the other states, as set forth in this section and in department rules implementing this section and other curricular requirements. The department must establish accountability standards at all grade levels in the areas of mathematics; reading; and science and technology. The department shall establish parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements in English language arts; mathematics; science and technology; social studies; career and education development; visual and performing arts; health, physical education and wellness; and world languages. Only students in a public school, a public charter school as defined in section 2401, subsection 9 or a private school approved for tuition that enrolls at least 60% publicly funded students, as determined by the previous school year’s October and April average enrollment, are is required to participate in the system of learning results set forth in this section and in department rules implementing this section and other curricular requirements. The commissioner shall develop accommodation provisions for instances where course content conflicts with sincerely held religious beliefs and practices of a student’s parent or guardian. The system must be adapted to accommodate children with disabilities as defined in section 7001, subsection 1-B.

     Sec. 4. 20-A MRSA §6209, sub-§2,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 259, §5, is further amended to read:

     2. Parameters for essential instruction.  Each student shall study and school subject to the provisions of this section shall ensure sufficient opportunity and capacity through multiple pathways for all students to study and achieve proficiency in the areas of:

     A. Career and education development;
     B. English language arts;
     C. World languages;
     D. Health, physical education and wellness;
     E. Mathematics;
     F. Science and technology;
     G. Social studies; and
     H. Visual and performing arts.

     Sec. 5. 20-A MRSA §6209, sub-§3-A  is enacted to read:

     3-A.  Transcripts.   A school subject to this section shall:

A.  Maintain student transcripts containing certification of content area proficiency for a student who has successfully demonstrated achievement of proficiency in the content standards in the system of learning results pursuant to this section;
B.  Certify on the basis of objective measures in the transcript a student’s college and career readiness as evidenced by skills in problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking and communication; and
C.  Establish a transcript that meets the requirements of paragraphs A and B as an officially sanctioned credential of student learning for admission to a postsecondary education institution and employment in a business, trade or industry.

     Sec. 6. 20-A MRSA §6211,  as enacted by PL 2001, c. 454, §33, is amended to read:

§ 6211. Rulemaking

The commissioner shall develop rules to accomplish the purposes of this chapter. Rules adopted by the commissioner under this chapter must include guidelines and protocols to strengthen the capacity of school administrative units to ensure sufficient opportunity through multiple pathways for all students to achieve proficiency in meeting the state standards and guiding principles established pursuant to the system of learning results pursuant to section 6209. Rules adopted pursuant to this chapter are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A 2-A.

     Sec. 7. Department of Education; rules. The Department of Education shall amend rules in accordance with the rulemaking provisions established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 7005, subsection 1 in order to establish strategies by which special education students with an individual education plan may demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards and guiding principles established pursuant to the system of learning results established under Title 20-A, section 6209.

      Sec. 8. Commissioner of Education; rulemaking. By January 2, 2017, the Commissioner of Education shall provisionally adopt or amend rules in accordance with the rulemaking provisions established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 253, subsection 9 and Title 20-A, section 6211 in order to ensure compliance with the amendments to the standards-based education system and the proficiency-based graduation provisions under Title 20-A, section 4511, subsection 3, paragraph J; section 4722-A; section 6209; and section 7005, subsection 1 pursuant to this Act.

SUMMARY

This bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs pursuant to Joint Rule 353. The bill includes certain recommendations proposed in the report submitted by the Maine Proficiency Education Council established pursuant to Resolve 2015, chapter 41, section 3 for consideration by the joint standing committee.

The joint standing committee has not taken a position on the substance of the report or this bill and by submitting this bill the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of the recommendations and the necessary changes to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A included in the report or this bill. The joint standing committee is submitting the bill for the sole purpose of turning certain proposals in the report into a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for an appropriate public hearing and subsequent processing in the normal course of business. The joint standing committee is taking this action to ensure clarity and transparency in the legislative review of the proposals included in the report submitted by the Maine Proficiency Education Council.

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Celebrating PBE

January 12, 2015

Transitioning to Proficiency Based Education (PBE)

I am well aware of the difficult task educators have taken on across the state of Maine. Each week I receive emails and/or phone calls from visual or performing arts teachers with questions and concerns about the PBE work underway. Fortunately, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) presently has PBE at the heart of our work. And, thanks to Rob Westerberg, MAAI Leadership Team member and York High School music teacher, who has created the Maine Arts Assessment website at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/ to assist you as teachers tackling this task, alone or with colleagues. MAAI is committed to shifting our work to respond to the challenges of the arts classrooms across the state. If you reach out and connect with the MAAI Teacher Leaders or Leadership Team members, no one needs to feel like an island. Contact information is on the site included above or please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

As is the case, at any time in educational reform, districts are at different places with the work. At the end of the first grading term earlier this year, I saw one of the MAAI teacher leaders who was very excited to share what was happening in her school. I asked her to write it down and send it to me so I could share it with the Maine Arts Ed community on the blog. Below is her post, I am sure you will read the excitement in her words and get a picture of the journey one school has had underway for two years.

A Celebration of Proficiency Based Learning

by Jen Etter, Music Educator, York Middle School

IMG_4138

Jen conducting a middle level chorus class. She is not that tall, yes, she is standing on a chair.

I imagine it is not an every day occurrence to walk into a staff meeting and be whacked on the head by a gigantic balloon. It certainly isn’t at our school! This particular day, the multi-purpose room was decorated from top to bottom with streamers and colorful dots. There was loud music blaring and enough food to feed an army. So what would warrant this kind of celebration on a random Wednesday in the middle of October? The release of the report card of course!

The report card we released in mid-October is far from perfect, however to say it represents an enormous amount of hard work and commitment would probably be the understatement of the century! In the past year, York Middle School has transitioned to completely proficiency based instruction and reporting. This change required a complete overhaul in the way we do things around here.

IMG_3554

Jen presenting to “critical friends”, summer 2013

For us the process began about two years ago. Our district had almost a complete change over of administration and our new focus became teaching and learning. I always feel odd saying that because really, shouldn’t the focus always be on teaching and learning? Well yes, it should be but I think everyone knows that more often than not, other things seem to get in the way. For many, including myself, this was a major transition in how lesson planning was approached. Until this point in my teaching career, when I planned a lesson, I usually thought about it in terms of two things: what do I want to teach the kids? and how much time do I have? Now, two years later it seems crazy to even think about that. In hindsight it seems so unprofessional! Personally, the shift of focus to teaching and learning has forced me to change my focus in lesson planning. What do I want every student in my room to learn? and how do I know they’ve learned it? For me, this change in mind set has made all the difference.

I don’t mean to paint a picture of perfection at my school because it is anything but that. For all staff, the transition to standards based reporting and proficiency based learning has been a major undertaking. It has raised major questions about the direction that education is heading both in our state and nationally and in many ways has divided our staff because of different philosophies. Despite this, the level of professional conversation that has been happening throughout our school is one of such depth and substance that it could motivate the most unambitious of teachers!

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Jen with colleagues, Rob Westerberg, and Cynthia Keating at the Summit on Arts Education, July 2014

There are major changes happening in the world of education, there is no doubt about that. It is both an exciting and very scary time to be in the profession. I urge you, get caught up in the excitement and be part of the change. Be part of the conversation about what education should look like for our kids because I guarantee, no matter how you feel about proficiency based learning, diving into the discussion about what it should look like could be one of the most valuable things you will do as an educator.

Thank you Jen for sharing part of your journey and taking on a leadership role in your school. Jen can be reached at jetter@yorkschools.org.

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MAAI Proficiency Q’s and A’s

December 9, 2014

You’re not alone

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr

This Fall has been one of the busiest in recent memory for me and for many reading this post. As Maine moves to implement its proficiency-based education requirement, virtually every arts program in Maine has been scrambling to define “proficiency” and what it looks like in their own classrooms. Invariably this has also led to the development of standards and indicators for each grade level. Our task is daunting, but the difficulty level is compounded by ours being a “local control” state; one in which the state sets policy, but local school districts have some degree of autonomy over curriculum and implementation.

Consequently, many of us in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative leadership have been approached by arts educators all over the state and asked very leading questions. One of the quotes we received in feedback from our first state Mega-Regional Workshop on November 25th at MDI High School (https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/successful-mega/) is typical: “(I need), more information about upcoming changes in policies, standards, teacher assessments, etc. My school does not keep me informed of any upcoming changes, i.e. proficiency based education…”

We have been working individually and collectively with so many districts and so many arts educators that I believe we’ve finally lost count. As school districts and arts educators continue their work through the Winter months ahead, here are some of the common questions we have received and our recommendations and suggestions moving forward.

Which standards should I be using?

MAAI has always taken the position that the only valid work is meaningful work, and that backwards design – identifying what knowledge or applied skills you believe is essential for every one of your students first – will lead you where you want to go. The North Carolina “I Can” statements by subject area located at www.maineartsassessment.com/#!projects/c21kz provide a rich selection of these by standard and by grade level. Best of all they identify these by what a student knows, not what a teacher teaches.

There are many other helpful documents on the Maine Arts Assessment at www.maineartsassessment.com/#!cross-curricular-documents/c2gj for you to look at and utilize as you make these determinations by grade span. The letter of the state law articulates that student proficiency is to be aligned with the Maine Learning Results. However, the work that we do in the arts can be connected to many exceptional standards documents, including those from other states, the national revised standards and even those of other countries. MAAI has found that if you connect to the indicators that resonate best with what you and your school values for proficiency in the arts, you will come up with a more meaningful, relevant and usable set of standards and indicators. These in turn will authentically move your work forward. If a crosswalk is required by your school district after the fact that ties your work directly to one specific set of standards, that will likely be a very manageable endeavor. Bottom line: make it meaningful and relevant by tying your work to essential student expectations first and then connecting to a specific standards document or set of standards later. This may all be done concurrently, but does not need to be, at least initially.

“What is the difference between a ‘standard’ and an ‘indicator’?”

There has been a lot of confusion even at the administrative level as to what each of these terms refer to. In essence, standards are the overarching, very broad umbrella statements. The Maine Learning Results have 5 of them, the first two (sections A and B) specific to each arts subject area. Indicators are the measurable statements or learning targets within each. Assessment of multiple indicators/learning targets will allow for an accurate measurement of proficiency within a specific standard. For instance, “Disciplinary Literacy” is a standard, underneath which would be measurable indicators, such as “Displays proper posture”, “Identifies correct key signatures” and so on. It is these indicators which will inform student proficiency for each standard.

“What’s the difference between ‘formative’ assessment and ‘summative’ assessment?”

In simple terms, formative assessment is the gut check. Formative assessments give you and your students the opportunity to take stock in progress made. These are utilized best when they also inform curriculum and instruction based on the results. These do not usually apply to a student’s “grade” per se, but inform everyone where students individually and/or collectively stand in the learning process. Summative assessment however is the running of the race; this is closer to what many would identify as ‘the test”. In proficiency based education models however, the difference between an assessment and a traditional test is that summative assessments may be given multiple times. The reason is because knowledge/application is measured for the purpose of demonstrating proficiency, and students are offered multiple opportunities to demonstrate.

“How can I possibly assess every student AND do all I need to do with such limited student face-time?”

Attend MAAI Regional and Mega-Regional Workshops (https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Mega-Regionals-2014-2015) which are offered throughout the entire school year. Attend an MAAI state event during the Summer or Fall. Reach out to an MAAI Teacher Leader  (www.maineartsassessment.com/#!who/cqmo) who can assist you with some spot on ideas. Check out one of the MAAI videos on what standards based learning looks like in practical application (www.maineartsassessment.com/#!arts-assessment-in-the-classroom/c1vvi). In the mean time, as you develop your proficiency work, keep it manageable. Not every indicator of every standard is required to be hit. But at the same time, use this authentic need for more student face time to drive conversations in your school about course scheduling and class frequency for the arts.

“How do I get started?” (alternate heading: “I’ve already had three false starts and am getting nowhere fast!”)

The Arts Assessment Resources site has a link called “Proficiency Toolbox” (www.maineartsassessment.com/#!proficiency-toolbox/covj). This toolbox provides step-by-step suggestions for getting started and how to proceed once you’ve done so. Take a look at this site and see if it lends some clarity for you.

We’re in the thick of this proficiency work. But we’re in it together. Even as each individual school district goes about this journey in its own unique way, please make sure that YOU are connecting with other arts teachers as you develop your work. A collaborative process is one which will yield real, meaningful results, positive reinforcement in the process of getting there, and shared conversations which can only lead to deeper understanding for teachers and students alike. Remember: None of us is as smart as all of us! Please continue to share your work.

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