Great Schools Partnership

Tool Overview

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 + Local Standards
In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a practical and prioritized system of learning standards.


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.


Grading + Reporting
In this section, school leaders and teachers will find detailed guidance on developing a proficiency-based grading and reporting system.


Transferable Skills 

Great Schools Partnership, in collaboration with EdTechTeam, Inc. is working to build an online system to support the design, implementation and scoring of performance assessment tasks that measure the Transferable Skills. This project aims to build an online system that will bring transferable skills to the center of teaching & learning.  These skills, which include Communication, Problem Solving, Informed Thinking, Self Direction, and Collaboration, are essential life skills that students should practice across content areas and will need in any form of postgraduate training, study or career. We are searching for creative and inspiring educators to help design a system which will change how teachers teach and assess transferable skills.

This page includes a set of resources for the teaching and assessment of the transferable skills. 


Research Evidence

In this section we provide a selection of statements and references that support the foundational features and practices of proficiency-based learning systems.


Understanding Standards
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.


College Admissions

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.


Materiales en español  /  Spanish Language Resources
Esta sección se irá expandiendo a medida que Great Schools Partnership realice la traducción al español de materiales adicionales acerca del aprendizaje basado en la adquisición de competencias.

(This section will continue to grow as the Great Schools Partnership works to translate additional proficiency-based learning resources in to Spanish.)


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.


Creative Commons License Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.