Most Maine high schools say they need more time to begin awarding diplomas based on proficiency and not seat time or credit hours. Last week, the state gave high schools the option to complete this work by 2020, instead of 2018. A handful, though, don't need any extension.
The story of how Searsport District High School became a leader in proficiency-based learning began, as many education reform experiments do, after the school kind of hit bottom. In 1997, Searsport lost its accreditation as a high school. Six years later, the school got thrown a lifeline.