Maine Revised Statutes

§4722-A. Proficiency-based diploma standards

Beginning January 1, 2017, a diploma indicating graduation from a secondary school must be based on student demonstration of proficiency as described in this section. The commissioner may permit a school administrative unit to award diplomas under this section prior to January 1, 2017 if the commissioner finds that the unit's plan for awarding diplomas meets the criteria for proficiency-based graduation under this section. [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]

1. Requirements for award of diploma.  In order to receive a diploma indicating graduation from secondary school, a student must:
A. Demonstrate that the student engaged in educational experiences relating to English language arts, mathematics and science and technology in each year of the student's secondary schooling; [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
B. Demonstrate proficiency in meeting state standards in all content areas of the system of learning results established under section 6209; [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
C. Demonstrate proficiency in each of the guiding principles set forth in department rules governing implementation of the system of learning results established pursuant to section 6209; and [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
D. Meet any other requirements specified by the governing body of the school administrative unit attended by the student. [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW) .]
2. Method of gaining and demonstrating proficiency.  Students must be allowed to gain proficiency through multiple pathways, as described in section 4703, and must be allowed to demonstrate proficiency by presenting multiple types of evidence, including but not limited to teacher-designed or student-designed assessments, portfolios, performance, exhibitions, projects and community service.
[ 2013, c. 176, §2 (AMD) .]
3. Exceptions.  Notwithstanding subsection 1, a student may be awarded a diploma indicating graduation from a secondary school in the following circumstances.
A. A child with a disability, as defined in section 7001, subsection 1-B, who achieves proficiency as required in subsection 1, as specified by the goals and objectives of the child's individualized education plan, may be awarded a high school diploma. [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
B. A student who has satisfactorily completed the freshman year in an accredited degree-granting institution of higher education may be eligible to receive a high school diploma from the school the student last attended. [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
B-1. A student who has satisfactorily completed the junior and senior years in a dual enrollment career and technical education program formed pursuant to chapter 229 and who successfully demonstrates proficiency as required in subsection 1 may be eligible to receive a high school diploma from the secondary school the student last attended. [2013, c. 318, §2 (NEW).]
C. [2013, c. 439, §4 (RP).]
D. A school administrative unit may award a high school diploma to a student who has met the standards set forth in a waiver request that was approved by the commissioner pursuant to section 4502, subsection 8. [2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW).]
E. A person may be awarded a high school diploma, including a posthumous award, if the person or a family member of the person applies to a secondary school and:
(1) The person:
(a) Attended a secondary school in the geographic area now served by the secondary school from which a diploma is requested; or
(b) Resides at the time of application for a diploma in the geographic area served by the secondary school from which a diploma is requested;
(2) The person did not graduate or receive a diploma from a secondary school because the person left secondary school to serve in the Armed Forces and served during the following periods:
(a) World War II, from December 7, 1941 to August 16, 1945;
(b) The Korean Conflict;
(c) The Vietnam War era, from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975; or
(d) The period of wartime or peacetime after a period of wartime described in division (a), (b) or (c); and
(3) The person received an honorable discharge or a certificate of honorable service from the Armed Forces.
For the purposes of this paragraph, "Armed Forces" means the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines. [2013, c. 281, §2 (AMD).]
[ 2013, c. 439, §4 (AMD) .]
4. Grants; contingent extension of full implementation.  During the period of transition to proficiency-based graduation in accordance with this section, the department, if funds are available, shall make annual transition grants to each school administrative unit equal to 1/10 of 1% of the school administrative unit's total cost of education calculated under section 15688, subsection 1 to be used in the manner determined by the school administrative unit to fund the costs of the transition not otherwise subsidized by the State through the 2014-2015 school year. The date for implementation of the awarding of diplomas based on student demonstration of proficiency as described in this section is extended one year for each year for which transition grants are not made available to a school administrative unit or for which levels of general purpose aid for local schools fall below school year 2012-2013 levels. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the department, if funds are available, shall make annual transition grants to each school administrative unit that operates schools equal to 1/9 of 1% of the school administrative unit's total cost of education calculated under section 15688, subsection 1 to be used in the manner determined by the school administrative unit to fund the costs of the transition not otherwise subsidized by the State.
[ 2015, c. 267, Pt. C, §3 (AMD) .]
5. Certificates of content area proficiency.   A school administrative unit may award a certificate of content area proficiency to a student for each content area in the system of learning results established under section 6209 in which the student has demonstrated proficiency. A certificate of content area proficiency may be included in the student's permanent academic transcript, and a student may use a certificate of content area proficiency as an official credential of academic achievement for the purposes of employment and postsecondary education. If a school administrative unit awards certificates of content area proficiency, it shall report its issuance of certificates of content area proficiency to the department, and the department may collect and aggregate these data as evidence of intermediate progress towards high school graduation goals.
(Subsection 5 as enacted by PL 2015, c. 367, §1 is REALLOCATED TO TITLE 20-A, SECTION 4722-A, SUBSECTION 6)
[ 2015, c. 342, §1 (NEW) .]
6. (REALLOCATED FROM T. 20-A, §4722-A, sub-§5) Implementation of proficiency-based diplomas.   Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the department shall annually collect and report data on the progress of public schools and public charter schools towards the implementation of proficiency-based diplomas in relation to the ongoing transition plan required pursuant to section 4502, subsection 1, including the number of students graduating with proficiency-based diplomas and the number of students awarded proficiency in each of the content areas of the system of learning results established under section 6209 and in each of the guiding principles set forth in department rules governing implementation of the system of learning results established pursuant to section 6209. By January 15, 2017, and annually thereafter, the department shall provide an annual report of the data collected for the prior school year to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters, and the department shall post the annual report on its publicly accessible website.
[ RR 2015, c. 1, §14 (RAL) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2011, c. 669, §7 (NEW). 2013, c. 176, §2 (AMD). 2013, c. 281, §2 (AMD). 2013, c. 318, §2 (AMD). 2013, c. 439, §4 (AMD). RR 2015, c. 1, §14 (COR). 2015, c. 267, Pt. C, §3 (AMD). 2015, c. 342, §1 (AMD). 2015, c. 367, §1 (AMD).