Maine Lawmakers Consider Delaying 'Proficiency-Based' Diplomas

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) The Department of Education is considering a change to the 2012 Maine law regarding 'proficiency-based' high school diplomas.

Maine was the first state to embrace the learning system, which aims to ensure high school graduates are proficient in certain key subject areas.

But there's a lack of clarity and consensus about what's exactly expected of schools and how to implement the new system.

The class of 2021 would be the first to graduate with these diplomas, meaning those students are freshmen now.

The D.O.E. is working on rules to implement the shift which has some education groups worried about a new, highly regulated system.

"We would urge you to convene a group, develop a prototype, build a scenario before you adopt these amendments. So that you know exactly what it is, (what) this means- because we don't know, but we're worried," said Heidi McGinley, Executive Director of the Maine Curriculum Leaders' Association.

Proficiency content areas include standards for English, mathematics, science, social studies and world languages.

The committee is considering delaying the system by a year so the department can work out the rules.