David Ruff from the Great Schools Partnership forwarded me Vermont’s Education Quality Standards or Rule 2000 recently adopted by the Board of Education. He had said that Vermont was barreling forward and he was right.
Here are a few of the highlights of the policy:
1) Definition: This is one of the best policy definitions of proficiency-based or competency education I’ve seen. I would probably have used “unit” instead of lesson because we all know sometimes if you just keep moving forward while you are learning something, it just clicks! But that’s in the weeds.
Proficiency-based learning” and “proficiency-based graduation” refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating mastery of the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn before they progress to the next lesson, get promoted to the next grade level, or receive a diploma.
2) Graduation Requirements: Vermont makes it clear that graduation is based on proficiency.
A student meets the requirements for graduation when the student demonstrates evidence of proficiency in the curriculum outlined in 2120.5, and completion of any other requirements specified by the local board of the school attended by the student.
Later on it goes into more detail stating that credits must be proficiency-based and leaving room for schools to move to an entirely proficiency-based structure if they desire. (more…)