Proficiency Based Learning

Proficiency-Based Learning is a key component of flexible and personalized pathway set forth in Act 77 and the State Board of Education’s Education Quality Standards (EQS) .Vermont public schools must provide students with flexible and personalized pathways for progressing through grade levels and to graduation. Students can only advance when they demonstrate the attainment of skills and knowledge, irrelevant of time spent in a classroom.


"Schools use proficiency-based learning to raise
academic standards, ensure that more students
meet those higher expectations, and graduate more students better prepared for adult life.”

- The Great Schools Partnership of Portland, Maine

Learn More about Proficiency-Based Learning

Resources created by the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) and the Great Schools Partnership (GSP) provide insight into the components of local-level Proficiency-Based Learning (PBL) systems-- what they are, and how they intersect.

Educators are encouraged to utilize these resources as a part of staff professional development activities, to inform PBL systems development, and as a part of communicating information about PBL models to members of their local communities, including parents and families. Additional PBL resources can be found on the NESSC site, and the GSP site.

What Do Today's Students Need to Know?

Every day, the world is growing more complex and demanding. Today’s students need new skills that will equip them for success in the global economy.

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How Do Today's Students Learn?

Science has given us new insights into brain development and our best school leaders and teachers are showing us how to engage and inspire.

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What Should a 21st Century High School Look Like?

Textbooks, chalkboards, and desks were the hallmarks of 20th century schooling. Today’s best schools are borderless community learning centers.

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What Is a Proficiency-Based Diploma?

Some students leave high school knowing calculus, while others still struggle with basic math. How can we make sure every student graduates prepared?

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What Are Personalized Learning Pathways?

Internships, technical programs, college courses, hands-on science, accelerated study—a new generation of high schools is redefining the learning experience.

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What Are Real-World Learning Experiences?

If we want to know what today's students need, we should listen to those who will be preparing and employing them after they graduate.

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What Are Learning Standards?

Have you ever wondered what learning standards are, what they are not, how they actually work in schools, and why they matter?

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How Does Proficiency-Based Learning Work?

Every year, high schools give out thousands of grades, report cards, and diplomas, but students are still unprepared. Can we do better?

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What Is Proficiency-Based Grading?

Proficiency-based grades incentivize students to work harder and learn more because progress and effort are recognized and rewarded.

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Tom Alderman at or (802) 479-1265

Page Last Updated on April 3, 2015