In his letter supporting proficiency-based learning (March 24), I believe Peter Gore confuses proficiency-based learning with project-based learning.

In project-based learning, students study core subjects and use that knowledge to create original projects in which they, to use Mr. Gore’s words, “communicate well, work collaboratively, problem-solve and think critically.”

Proficiency-based learning, on the other hand, has yet to be defined. The state mandated a proficiency-based diploma stating that students had to gain proficiency in eight subjects, but never defined proficiency or what proficiency-based learning would look like.

If the law results in districts improving curricula, then it will have served some purpose. However, rather than spending time and money on the testing, retesting and data collection that the law requires, we should be supporting professional development to update curriculum.

Let’s repeal this ill-conceived experiment and instead work with districts to develop a world-class curriculum for all of Maine’s students.

Kathleen Mikulka

Elders for Future Generations (

Cape Elizabeth