Although no research or evaluation can ever capture all the dynamics of change, I found the report Implementation of a Proficiency‐Based Diploma System in Maine: Phase II – District Level Analysis a fascinating read and incredibly affirming that we are going in the right direction. How often do you read, “a common theme clear in every district in this study was that the educators and educational leaders involved in this work were thinking deeply about ways to embrace this reform in a manner that benefitted every student. There was a great deal of hard work being done in schools and school districts to understand the needs of students, develop a plan to implement this legislative policy with fidelity, and work collaboratively with all stakeholders to improve the educational experiences of Maine’s children.” A reform in which educators are trying to understand the needs of students – that’s the heart of personalization!
The research team identified the following benefits of the personalized, proficiency-based approach being implemented in Maine:
• Improved student engagement
• Continued development of robust intervention systems for struggling students
• Collaborative professional work to develop common standards, align curriculum, and create assessments
• Collective and transparent monitoring of student progress and needs by educators, administrators and families. (more…)