Posts Tagged ‘proficiency based education’


Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Webinar

May 6, 2014

Providing you a special professional development opportunity just for teacher appreciation week


Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring will be hosting their third 2014 webinar in a series of four as part of the  Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI).  The webinar entitled “LD 1422: Proficiency And The Arts” will take place on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 from 3:30 – 4:30.  Primary discussions will be based around:

  • What is LD 1422 & what does it mean?
  • What is “proficiency”?
  • What does proficiency in the Arts look like?
  • Next steps

The overarching goals of this webinar will be to help arts educators move forward proactively as our schools and our state moves toward a proficiency based diploma. While LD 1422 is spelled out specifically for high Schools, the domino effect has critical ramifications for all PK-12 music, art, dance and drama teachers.

For best chances of success please join the webinar 10 minutes early and do the following:

  1. Join the meeting by clicking:  Enter as a guest.

  2. Use a hard-wire connection, not wireless.
  3. Test your sound by going up to the top left, click on Meeting and Audio Setup Wizard and follow the directions.

At the conclusion of the webinar there will be a link for you to complete a short feedback survey. You will receive one contact hour for completing the feedback form (issued at the end of May).

Please be sure to join for what promises to be an engaging, insightful hour on the topic that will continue to impact every one of us as arts educators in the state of Maine! One contact hour is available for participating. If you miss the session live it will be archived afterwards for your viewing. Please watch the Maine Arts Education blog for the link to it.

If you have any questions please email me at


Developing a Proficiency-Based System

April 23, 2014

What’s it all about?

In February the Maine Department of Education posted the following in their news room. I know that this would be helpful to some arts educators as you move forward with your work getting ready for the Proficiency Based High School diploma starting with the graduating class of 2018 (that is next years 9th graders). Go directly to the post by clicking here.

Join arts educators on Wednesday, May 7 for a discussion on the Proficiency-Based High School diploma on the next Maine Arts Assessment webinar, 3:30-4:30. To join the webinar (at 3:20) please go to One contact hour is available.

The goal of proficiency-based education is to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers and the centerpiece of achieving proficiency is a clear focus on learning and instruction.

In proficiency-based education, students who have not met standards receive additional academic support to help them achieve proficiency. When a student demonstrates proficiency in the expected standards, they move on in their education. The standards include content area knowledge and skills as well as those of the Maine Learning Results Guiding Principles, which include critical thinking and problem-solving.

Implementing the requirement that high schools award proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018 places student demonstration of skills and knowledge at the center of instruction, assessments and reporting. School administrative units (SAUs) can work together or with other SAUs to develop their system for awarding of proficiency-based diplomas. Additionally, SAUs may add to the expectations for proficiency described in the content area standards and Guiding Principles

There is extensive guidance for developing educational systems that support student proficiency. The literature that describes proficiency-based education systems includes the work of Dr. John Hattie, professor and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia and Dr. Michael Fullan, Canadian educational researcher and former dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Hattie’s synthesis of over 800 meta-studies is the result of 15 years of research. His recent publication Visible Learning for Teachers points to the top 10 influences on student learning. Fullan reminds school leaders to build a system of support for all learners. Fullan asserts that raising the bar (for all students) and closing the gap (for lower performing groups) is dependent on choosing four drivers that have been demonstrated to be effective at achieving measurable improvements in results for students.

As educators build proficiency-based systems, they must continuously evaluate how well their educational programs and pathways provide each student with the opportunity to learn and make progress toward demonstrating proficiency of Maine’s learning standards. The guidance offered by Hattie and Fullan can provide educators and community members with criteria against which they can evaluate and enhance proficiency-based education.


Announcing Mega-Regional Workshops

November 12, 2013

Ellsworth High School, UMF, USM, and UMaine

Feedback on the biennial statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way that was held at UMaine on October 24th continues to come in. But that is not all that the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is providing for professional development this school year.

I am soooooooo excited to announce the professional development opportunities that continue to take place by the MAAI teacher leaders. There are 35 sessions scheduled at the 4 locations listed below that the MAAI calls Mega-Regional workshops.

You can click on each site above to get to the details or go to In the AM at each Mega-Regional session teachers will select 2 workshops from a variety (each site offering different workshops). There are two PM sessions that teachers will have a chance to drill down on important arts education topics that are impacting all of us in today’s education environment:

  • The Arts and Proficiency
  • Think Tanks on Technology

The cost to attend a Mega-Regional workshop is $20.00 with 5.5 contact hours provided. Registration is required to attend the all day, 8:15 – 3:15, Mega-Regional workshops.

Please note: Each mega-regional workshop has a different link for registering! The MAAI teacher leaders are anxious to share their workshops with you and look forward to what you bring to the workshops. These are multiple opportunities for the Maine Arts education community to come together to deepen our knowledge!

If you have any questions please email me at I look forward to seeing you at a Mega-Regional workshop.


Phase 3 MAAI summer institute, MECA, June 2013

Also scheduled are 34 Regional workshops taking place in various locations all over the state. You can find the information on these workshops by clicking here.

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