Opinion: Proficiency-Based Learning Beneficial for Students

22 November 2017

Rebecca Holcombe is the Vermont Secretary of Education.

A recent opinion piece from a Fair Haven Union High School teacher argued we should rid the state of proficiency-based learning and grading systems to “let teachers teach.”

I can’t comment on how individual teachers, schools, or districts chose to interpret or implement the State Board of Education’s requirement that our schools move to “proficiency-based learning.” However, the piece seems to misunderstand the logic and research related to proficiency approaches to instruction, as well as the responsibility of districts with respect to standards. In Vermont, by statute, curriculum and instruction are local responsibilities, and success depends on the skill and judgment of those who develop and implement curriculum in each classroom in each school.

Any discussion of proficiency-based approaches needs to consider the research that led the Board to adopt and the legislature to endorse this approach four years ago. 

Read the full Opinion: Proficiency-Based Learning Beneficial for Students.


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