Maine’s vision is clear: By 2030, 90 percent of Maine’s students will graduate college and career ready.
The state aims to develop a proficiency-based system where students demonstrate their readiness for college and careers to graduate from high school. While this vision will be implemented through locally determined requirements, the state goal is to move to a student-centered, personalized learning approach to education that empowers student ownership of learning by design. A number of the state’s districts have established proficiency-based graduation requirements that reflect college and career readiness and have developed multiple pathways for students to meet those requirements.
Maine’s measures of interim progress conflict with its long-term vision.
Maine includes long-term academic goals and measures of interim progress for English language arts, mathematics, and English language proficiency. But while its long-term vision aims for 90 percent of its students graduating college- and career-ready by 2030, its interim targets in English and math stop short of that. For example, by 2030 it expects only 76 percent of its white students to be proficient in English, and less than 60 percent of its students with disabilities and English learners.
Maine intends to update its achievement targets once it has new data at the end of June 2017, but it should also reconcile its long-term vision with its interim performance targets.
The state has included a goal of 90 percent by 2030 for both the four-year and the extended-year cohort rates.
Neither of these goals appears very ambitious. Since the current four- and six-year rates are 87 and 89 percent, respectively, Maine is shooting for only 1-3 percentage point gains over the next 13 years.
Additionally, it’s not clear why Maine set the same goal for both the four-year and the six-year graduation rates, since more students could be expected to graduate with the additional time.