How do we know what they know now?
What would it be like to drive around in a car from 1920? It probably wouldn’t work very well. And it wouldn’t make much sense. Interestingly, we are currently using an educational system very similar to what was used over 100 years ago.
We have been very rooted in our traditional educational system which doesn’t necessarily serve the modern learner. Therefore we are trying to build a new system of education in Vermont that among other things can answer the question: “How do we teach students to be ready for jobs that might not even exist yet?”
For over a century, students have received a high school diploma based on the accumulation of credits earned for passing courses. This system has not necessarily ensured that students are actually ready for college or the job market. And many graduates leave high school unprepared to succeed. But, educators in Vermont think there is a better way.
That is: Proficiency Based Graduation Requirements (PRGR) that are based on Student Learning Outcomes (SLO, see graphic page 1). Beginning with the graduating class of 2020 (today’s ninth graders), students will graduate, not based on credits received for passing courses, but based on proficiency.
U-32 principal Steven Dellinger-Pate says, “We really want our kids to be prepared to assume their role in society. To be a contributor to our community, graduates need more than just knowledge, they need transferable skills, or soft skills such as problem solving and critical thinking.”