Press Release Headlines

Can Teaching Strategies That Use Proficiency Based Learning Be the Answer to Country's Education Woes?

ST. LOUIS, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The mass production, assembly line, time clock system of manufacturing may have worked for building cars but has proven a dismal failure when it comes to the education of our children.

According to Mark Siegel, member of the New Oregon Diploma Implementation Advisory Task Force and the Credit For Proficiency Task Force, "Teaching strategies that have 30-40 students sit in a classroom and receive instruction mass production style for a fixed amount of time (45 minutes) regardless of how good the teacher may be, is a surefire recipe for disaster. Time based, classroom learning can only guarantee that the subject was covered. It cannot guarantee proficiency and cannot guarantee that the student can successfully do anything with what they learned in real life."

The consequences to the U.S. of the use of mass production, time-based teaching has been recently underscored by The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) three-yearly Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report. This report compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, and found the United States ranked 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.

The economic downturn has added additional strain and challenges for states and school districts in terms of budgets and capacity to deliver quality educational services. This pressure has brought about a realization, at least in several states most notably in Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire and Oregon that educational progress through expressed individualized competency and proficiency of knowledge makes so much more sense to a student's success and to the economic success of each state and the country as a whole.

As required by Maine statute, students in Maine will graduate based on demonstrated mastery of the state's rigorous learning standards. Proficiency-based learning is one approach a growing number of Maine schools are adopting to ensure that their students graduate from high school with the skills they need for success in college, careers and civic life.

Cathy Viney, Executive Director and teaching strategies expert of the non-profit Applied Scholastics International, says, "Teaching strategies that incorporate proficiency based learning have a much higher rate of success because they address each student individually and keep proficiency and the ability to apply what is learned as the constant rather than time as the constant. Imagine every student succeeding in their studies while learning at their own pace."

"Schools must no longer be places where some succeed at learning while others tumble into inevitable failure. Rather, they must become places where all students meet pre-specified academic achievement standards," says Rick Stiggins, author of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right – Using It Well.

Viney adds, "Our Teaching Strategies and our Proficiency Based Learning: Applied Scholastics Achievement Programa (ASAP) based on the educational works of American author and educator, L. Ron Hubbard, helps schools, teachers and parents implement proficiency based learning so that all students can learn for application and competency so as to achieve educational success in the classroom and more importantly success in the workplace and in their chosen career."

The program includes how to create and implement:

  • Proficiency Based Learning Lesson Plans
  • Clear learning targets for students
  • Specific assessments linked to learning targets
  • Multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency
  • Flexibility for individual learners including self-paced proficiency based learning models
  • Teaching strategies that value teacher judgment and expertise

A free guide to the benefits of Applied Scholastics teaching strategies that incorporate proficiency based learning is available at or call Toll free: 877-75-LEARN.

For media inquiries, contact Christine Gerson at (314) 344-6355.

About Applied Scholastics International

The nonprofit Applied Scholastics International is a trusted authority on the subject of teaching strategies and proficiency based learning and provides timely and useful information so as to improve the lives of ALL students of all ages including those negatively affected by learning difficulties and the social, economic and emotional issues associated with these difficulties. For more information, go to

Christine Gerson