Guidance on New High School Diploma Law
Priority Notice from the Maine Department of Education
Governor LePage signed into law PL 2017, Chapter 466 on July 10, 2018, allowing SAUs to award either proficiency-based or credit-based diplomas. This change will take effect on December 13, 2018. The new diploma law, enacted by the 128th Legislature, removes the mandate that a high school diploma be based on a student’s demonstration of proficiency in Maine’s Learning Results and instead makes a proficiency-based diploma one of two options.
To help inform school districts and the public about the new law, the Department is providing a side-by-side comparison of the two diploma options. While the new law provides opportunities for flexibility and innovation in awarding a high school diploma, it also presents challenges. The Maine DOE believes the comparison chart will help districts navigate their different options to ensure that, whatever the local decision is, students are provided a high quality education.
Side-by-side comparison of the two diploma options (PDF) »
The chart demonstrates that many details must be worked out both at the state and local level. As school leaders consider the uncertainties presented by the new law, the Commissioner wants districts to know that Maine DOE has an unwavering commitment to the quality of education for all Maine students. In this vein, districts should move forward with diploma requirements that serve students with an understanding that further legislation is likely necessary to reduce the inconsistencies between the two options.
The Commissioner is working collaboratively with stakeholders to establish common goals and seek solutions that ensure Maine’s high school diploma requirements provide a challenging, high quality education for every student in Maine. The Maine DOE looks forward to working with districts in this endeavor to prepare our graduates for a bright future.
Laws Quick Look Up:
Maine Learning Results
Guiding Principles of The Maine Learning Results
Understanding the Guiding Principles - a Resource developed by the Maine DOE and epic, Educational Policy Improvement Center.
For further questions, contact Mary Paine, Maine DOE Chief of Planning and Implementation at Mary.firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 624-6672.