VERMONT PROFICIENCY-BASED LEARNING: A SYSTEMIC APPROACH SELF-ASSESSMENT


Instructions

1. Review the dimensions and descriptions of school practices below.

2. For each dimension, rate your school district on a scale of 1-5. 1 is equal to the "Initiating" description. 3 is equal to "Developing". 5 is equal to "Performing."

3. Optional: add narrative comments below each section of the self-assessment (Policy, Practice, Community Engagement) to capture your reasoning behind your ratings.


Results for your team will be shared at your December session.

If you wish, you may have colleagues who are NOT attending the series provide their input on the self-assessment too. This may make for a deeper conversation with your team at the series.

Policy and Framework These descriptions ask you to reflect on the overall framework and policies to support proficiency-based learning in your district.


Conceptual Framework and Core Principles

 

Initiating

Developing

Performing

Conceptual Framework and Core Principles

 

 

 

There is little agreement about the essential knowledge and skills for success after k-12 schooling or principles to guide student learning. The school/district utilizes a proficiency verification process that is based entirely on course success and expectations vary widely within the school/district. Educators and school committee members are unfamiliar with the state frameworks for proficiency-based learning.

Proficiency-based learning is focused mostly on course-level descriptions of knowledge and skill. The school/district utilizes a verification process based on course success and there are common expectations for success, with a variety of assessment methods under a local assessment system. Learning goals for courses are clear and assessments for courses are aligned to common standards. There is clear alignment with state frameworks for proficiency-based learning. Students may be required to complete capstone projects, exhibitions of learning, or performance tasks to verify proficiency.

 

 

A clear set of graduation standards exist for transferable skills and content-area knowledge and skills. These standards represent the essential knowledge and skills for success in postsecondary education, a career, and citizenship and are aligned with state frameworks for proficiency-based learning. The school/district utilizes a proficiency verification process that flexibly supports students demonstrating learning in a variety of ways within the district’s local assessment system. Shared criteria for success are applied across a wide variety of demonstrations of learning, resulting in greater personalization for student learning.

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District Alignment
                                             Initiating                          Developing                       Performing

District Alignment

 

Students may experience very different expectations for meeting proficiency standards from classroom to classroom within a school. There appears to be little agreement within the district or schools about essential standards, assessment methods, or instructional practice. Many educators express little or no knowledge of, or professional learning about, proficiency-based learning. Transition points between schools and grades represent significant challenges to student success, due to insufficient coordination.

 

There is alignment within schools about essential knowledge and skills and work is beginning to bridge common gaps between grades and grade spans. A district-wide team has been created to be leaders on proficiency-based learning and to support shared understanding and alignments throughout the district. Professional learning opportunities are regularly available for teachers to work within grade spans on proficiency-based learning. There are opportunities for educators within schools to support students as they transition between grades.

 

All schools within the district use a common language to describe proficiency-based learning. A proficiency-based learning team that includes teachers, students, and parents plans professional learning, community outreach, and educates the school committee as necessary to ensure sound district alignment. Professional learning opportunities are regularly available for teachers to work within and across grade spans on proficiency-based learning. There is a system in place to anticipate transition challenges and to proactively address them across schools, with coordinated family outreach.

 

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School Board/Committee Support
                                             Initiating                          Developing                       Performing

School Board/Committee Support

 

The school board expresses little knowledge of proficiency-based learning. The board may reduce proficiency-based learning merely to changes in reporting or grading policies, or the language of graduation policy, and not fully understand the systemic approach to teaching and learning.

The school board has engaged in information sessions and workshops regarding proficiency-based learning. School board members can describe proficiency-based learning and articulate how it supports student achievement. There is clear understanding of how policy shifts implicate changes in educational practice.

The school board expresses active and vocal support for proficiency-based learning.  Proficiency-based learning is a clear and integral component of the district’s strategic plan.

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Local Policies
                                             Initiating                          Developing                       Performing

Local Policies

 

 

 

Graduation and promotion policies do not reflect a proficiency-based approach to education. Students are required to accrue a certain number of credits in each discipline, without reference to the knowledge and skills essential for success. Individual teachers are responsible for setting grading and attendance policies for their classrooms.

Graduation and promotion policies recognize attainment of learning standards, and not only seat-time requirements. While the district may utilize a credit-based system to support a broad base of learning, the credits are tied directly to learning standards. The school committee or schools develop common policies (ie: grading, attendance, eligibility) that support students attaining proficiency.

Policies exist to support attainment of graduation proficiencies in a personalized manner. The school committee or schools have set policies supporting flexible pathways for student learning, in addition to common school-wide practices. Policies support innovative practice and allow students and teachers flexibility for attaining learning goals.

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