An article in the June 12 Portland Press Herald quoted me regarding proficiency-based learning. Although the quotations were accurate, I believe some important information was left out from my 40-minute interview with the reporter, most notably:

Although I like the traditional grading system, the way we have gone about presenting both the traditional grading system and the proficiency-based grading system on our new report cards (using a hybrid approach) gives us the best of both worlds and paints a better and more accurate picture of what our students know.

Change is hard, but if parents, students, teachers and administrators understand what we are trying to accomplish by changing the way in which we report student performance, then they are more likely to support this change.

Although people have various opinions about proficiency-based grading and reporting, it should be noted that our district (School Administrative District 15) has spent a lot of time, energy and effort to educate all stakeholders and that we take great pride in our professional responsibilities to ensure our students and our schools are in compliance with state mandates and expectations.

I do believe high schools would be more accepting of the proficiency-based grading and reporting system if the state identified exactly what they wanted every student to learn (standards to be met) in each subject area regardless of what school system a student attended.

Local control has its place, but when a student leaves one high school in Maine and moves on to another, there is the very real possibility that the standards that were required in the previous school may not be the same standards required in the new school. That can and will pose some unnecessary problems for any student, and that’s not fair to the student.

I thank you for reviewing what I consider key information that was not included in the original report.

Ted Finn

principal, Gray-New Gloucester High School