Center for Best Practice

James H. Bean Elementary School students interact with teacher Kirby Reardon.We are fortunate in Maine to have a number of schools and districts that have taken promising steps toward making a proficiency-based, learner-centered instructional system. The Department's Center for Best Practice, supported by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, was established to focus on research and reporting related to proficiency-based systems here in Maine. It will serve as a clearinghouse of materials, support and case studies related to learner-centered instructional practices. Teaching has been and continues to be a largely solitary practice providing few opportunities for collaboration and sharing of best practices. The Center was designed to remove this isolation.

  • Case studies. Detailed reports, reflections and materials from school districts that are paving the way in proficiency-based learning.
  • Videos. Three districts showcase their best practices on film.
  • Resources. A compilation of materials used to implement learner-centered systems in each district.

    We are beginning to see the profound, positive impact this laser-like focus on core priorities can have on individual students. Students in these early-adopting schools and districts are taking an active role in directing their own education. Challenging the status quo and making learning experiences like this available to every student in Maine should be our goal. People need to see that it works, that local schools have undertaken this work on their own initiative, and that it's possible for them to replicate success in their schools. That's the work of the Center, sharing best practices to encourage all schools in Maine to innovate.
    --Former Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

The Center for Best Practice is one of the action items in the Department's strategic plan, which devotes the bulk of its attention to proficiency-based learning and learner-centered instruction.

This Center for Best Practice is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Education and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made possible by the contributions of the Maine schools that share their stories.