Performance-based grading explained to RSU 10 board

DIXFIELD — Within the next few years, students from Mountain Valley, Dirigo and Buckfield Junior-Senior high schools will get report cards that state whether they met specific performance standards in English language arts, math, science and technology.

Eileen M. Adams photo

RSU 10 Assistant Superintendent and Curriculum Coordinator Gloria Jenkins explains the new performance-based education system at Monday night's school board meeting in Dixfield.

Gloria Jenkins, assistant superintendent and curriculum coordinator, together with the Mountain Valley High School Principal Matt Gilbert, Dirigo High School Principal Mike Poulin and Buckfield Junior-Senior High School George Reuter explained at Monday's RSU 10 board meeting the progress being made toward a performance-based diploma.

“We are working with neighboring districts, the state and the Western Maine Education Collaborative to meet the Proficiency Based Diploma Law,” Superintendent Craig King said.

All school districts in Maine are mandated to begin presenting these diplomas by 2018. Jenkins said committees and teams have been formed to work toward that goal.

Performance-based learning had been called mass customized learning until this year. It involves creating methods for each student to meet the standards.

“Each student may have a different path to meet the goal,” Gilbert said.

He said the thinking behind performance-based learning is not new, since pieces of it are included in other documents that set policy for the schools, such as the mission statement, service learning and other requirements.

“The new stuff is multiple pathways. For example, Eagle Scout projects. (The skills learned) have always been outside of school. Maybe some should be part of the student’s requirements,” he said.

Reuter said the state has provided RSU 10 with just over $30,000 to help put the program in place.

Jenkins said educating parents on the changes to come also must begin soon.

Next school year’s eighth-graders will be the first to be assessed under the new system.

King said education and earning a diploma will no longer be based on credits, “but, can the student do a task that meets proficiency.”

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Thomas Hamilton's picture

yes but most of all ...

Most of all I would like a high school graduate to be able to think abstractly recognize propaganda, be able to see more than one side of an argument, and have a broad understanding of the world beyond Maine.

 's picture

I'd really like to see

a college freshman able to write a proper sentence, complete with proper spelling and punctuation.
I'd really like to see a school program that doesn't punish, yes punish, an entire classroom because two of the students aren't able to keep up with the pace due to learning disabilities.
I'd like to see a program that allows students to use the same tools that they will be able to use in a work environment. Memorization is a great tool, but in a real world situation materials are generally available to aid a person in the performance of their job. Let students have the same materials available to them during tests, especially in high school.
I would like graduates to know how to file a tax return. I would like them to be politically aware. I would like them to be taught how to budget money wisely and how to shop for food and necessities because they're not going to ask their parents how to do any of these things. I learned them in school and thought everyone did. Boy, was I wrong...

Thomas Jenkins's picture


Ed McCaffrey,

The problem you have with your ideas---------------------------they make way to much sense! Therefore, it's never going to happen.

School boards for the most part in this country think "every" student is going to attend a four year university/college. Well, in Maine we know for sure that's not the case. Trades---Trades---Trades.

Let's don't even get into the dropout rate.


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