The Great Schools Partnership created Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified to help schools develop efficient standards-based systems that will prepare all students for success in the colleges, careers, and communities of the 21st century. For this reason, our model is focused on prioritizing and assessing the most vitally important knowledge and skills, while also balancing these high academic expectations with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity in the classroom.
Throughout this website, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a proficiency-based system. We have strived to keep our guidance concise and practical, focusing only on the most essential policies, processes, and practices. In addition, we see our model as an iterative process, and we intend to revise, improve, and expand our resources over time
About Proficiency-Based Learning
Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified provides a foundational structure that will help schools prioritize learning goals and build a more coherent academic program. The two documents in this section illustrate how the Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified model works in practice.
State + Local Policies
In this section, school leaders will find a variety of exemplar district policies that can be adapted to suit local needs and contexts. The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or revise our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.
- State Policies: New England Secondary School Consortium
- District and School Policy Checklist
- District Policy Exemplar: Graduation Requirements
- District Policy Exemplar: Multiple Pathways
- District Policy Exemplar: Academic Recognition
- District Policy Exemplar: Transcripts
- District Policy Exemplar: Grading and Reporting System
- District Policy Exemplar: Academic Eligibility for Athletic and Co-Curricular Participation
- District Policy Exemplar: Academic Support
State + Local Standards
In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a practical and prioritized system of learning standards.
- A Practical System of Standards
- Exemplar Standards: Maine
- Exemplar Standards: Vermont
- Connecticut’s Common Core of Learning
- Maine’s Guiding Principles
- New Hampshire’s Competency-Based Performance Standards
- Rhode Island’s Applied Learning Standards
- Vermont’s Vital Results
Assessment + Verification
In this section, district and school leaders will find guidance on what to assess, how to assess it, and how to verify and report student proficiency in relation to standards.
- Verifying Proficiency: Graduation Standards
- Verifying Proficiency: Performance Indicators
- Verifying Proficiency: Scoring Criteria
- Assessment Pathways Simplified
- Designing and Assessing Homework
Grading + Reporting
In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a proficiency-based grading and reporting system.
- Designing a Grading System
- Grading Principles and Guidelines
- Communicating the Grading System
- Selecting an Online Grading and Reporting System
- Habits of Work Grading and Reporting
- Casco Bay High School Habits of Work Grading and Reporting
- KIPP and Riverdale’s Seven Highly Predictive Strengths
- Academic Recognition and Latin Honors
- Exemplar High School Transcript
- Exemplar High School Profile
In this section we provide a selection of statements and references that support the foundational features and practices of proficiency-based learning systems.
- Research Supporting the Ten Principles: Learning Standards
- Research Supporting the Ten Principles: Assessment Practices
- Research Supporting the Ten Principles: Grading + Reporting
- Research Supporting the Ten Principles: Instructional Strategies
- Surveys of College Educators and Employers
On this page we have comprised a selection of entries from our Glossary of Education Reform in order to provide a comprehensive introduction to learning standards and how they work in our education system.
On this page, students, parents, teachers, community members, and school leaders will find statements and letters from 68 public and private institutions of higher education from across New England stating—unequivocally—that students with proficiency-based grades and transcripts will not be disadvantaged in any way during the college admissions process.
Planning for Proficiency: A Guide for Maine School Leaders
This Guide was developed to offer strategies and activities to successfully complete the essential steps in planning and implementing a proficiency-based learning system in your high school. A series of info briefs to be released once per week beginning in late January, the Guide outlines key issues and strategies for successful implementation.
Creative Commons All the resources on this site have been published under a Creative Commons license, which lets schools remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, as long as they credit us and license their new creations under the identical terms. While we retain the original copyright on the work, you can republish or repurpose anything on this site as long as you (1) credit the Great Schools Partnership as the source of the work; (2) do not sell or use the work commercially in any way; and (3) republish all work, including derivative or modified work, under an identical Creative Commons license so that others can also republish and built upon the work.
Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.