Education, Proficiency-Based Learning

Proficiency-based Letdown?

Centerpiece

Photo by Gabe Souza.

Superintendents across Maine say the Legislature’s decision to let local districts decide how to issue high school diplomas means they now have more time to set up systems that work and build consensus before making major changes.

School districts in Maine are at different stages of implementing what had been a state mandate that required districts to award proficiency-based diplomas by 2021.

An uprising by parents – particularly in Lewiston, Auburn and York – and a failure by the state Department of Education to provide clear direction prompted lawmakers in July to allow districts to opt out of the requirement.

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Finding common ground and engaging in civil conversations about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

In our second installment of “The Maine Trust Project”, we speak with Mike Douglas of Augusta, for whom trust is about wholeheartedly investing in relationships, believing he’ll get out of them what he puts into them.

BDN reporter Chris Cousins dies at 42

Maine lost a highly respected journalist Wednesday when Chris Cousins, Statehouse bureau chief at the Bangor Daily News, died of a heart attack at age 42.

Cousins, who joined the BDN staff in 2009, was recognized in June as one of Maine’s top 10  Most Trusted Journalists by Pine Tree Watch and the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. Pine Tree Watch asked 75 reporters, editors, copy editors, television anchors, photographers, station directors and publishers to share five Maine-based journalists that they respect most, and Cousins’ name came up again and again.

In a PTW profile about him at the time, Cousins described the way he went about his work: “I try to do it fairly and treat everyone fairly.”

A husband and father of two young sons, Cousins also worked for Norway’s Advertiser Democrat, the Times Record in Brunswick, and for State House News Services in Augusta. See The BDN for much more coverage.

Finding common ground and engaging in civil conversations about important issues facing our communities, our state, our country and our world can seem elusive, if not sadly impossible.

In our second installment of “The Maine Trust Project”, we speak with Mike Douglas of Augusta, for whom trust is about wholeheartedly investing in relationships, believing he’ll get out of them what he puts into them.

BDN reporter Chris Cousins dies at 42

Maine lost a highly respected journalist Wednesday when Chris Cousins, Statehouse bureau chief at the Bangor Daily News, died of a heart attack at age 42.

Cousins, who joined the BDN staff in 2009, was recognized in June as one of Maine’s top 10  Most Trusted Journalists by Pine Tree Watch and the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. Pine Tree Watch asked 75 reporters, editors, copy editors, television anchors, photographers, station directors and publishers to share five Maine-based journalists that they respect most, and Cousins’ name came up again and again.

In a PTW profile about him at the time, Cousins described the way he went about his work: “I try to do it fairly and treat everyone fairly.”

A husband and father of two young sons, Cousins also worked for Norway’s Advertiser Democrat, the Times Record in Brunswick, and for State House News Services in Augusta. See The BDN for much more coverage.