Personalized Learning: Maine Style

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Reposted from Educational Leadership, Summer 2014, pp. 62-65:

“The state of Maine recently passed legislation that by 2018 high school diplomas must be awarded based on student proficiency. No longer will “seat time” be a passport to graduation.

Under the new legislation, schools must offer students multiple pathways and opportunities to demonstrate learning proficiency., including teacher-designed and student-designed assessments, portfolios, performances, exhibitions, projects and community service. To reach this goal, all Maine school districts will need to explore personalized – also known as customized – student learning.

My K-12 school district, RSU #57, joined the Maine Cohort for Customized Learning. Our teachers, support staff and administrators have been working tirelessly to dig into the many layers of learning involved in growing a personalized, proficiency-based education system. 

Ongoing professional learning, collaboration time and instructional coaching will continue to be necessary as we make the cultural and pedagogical shifts needed in our classrooms. By supporting one another in this difficult work, we are encouraging our teachers and school leaders to take the necessary risks throughout the process. I am proud to work alongside such dedicated educators, who are willing to do whatever it takes to make a difference and prepare our children for life in today’s global society.”

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