Since much has been written in the Press Herald on proficiency-based learning of late, including a March 13 Maine Voices column, I would like to add my perspectives on this.

I’m a firm supporter of this newer learning model. That support stems from my experiences working with Maine businesses both large and small for more than 2½ decades. I feel compelled to share why I’m so excited about this innovative educational model.

I care a great deal about Maine’s youth and our state’s economic success. Right now, employers across the state lack workers with the skills and work habits Maine businesses need to succeed and grow. Some of these skills can help predict an employee’s and his or her employer’s future success. These include the ability to communicate well, work collaboratively, problem-solve and think critically.

These are the types of skills that proficiency-based learning teaches our students. And, they’re the skills our students need to become the workers who will ensure Maine’s long-term economic strength.

Proficiency-based learning also places importance on the feedback of the student, and the student’s ability to choose one of several pathways to learning. These various pathways suit different types of learners so no student (a future worker) is left behind.

I believe that, if Maine stays the course and fully adapts to proficiency-based learning and teaching methods, we will better prepare our youth to become the kind of workers Maine employers and our economy need to succeed and compete.

I encourage Maine lawmakers, teachers, parents, students and employers to learn more about this 21st-century learning model. I hope they too will support proficiency-based learning to help keep Maine on a path toward the greatest success achievable for our people, employers and economy.

Peter M. Gore

vice president, Maine State Chamber of Commerce

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