I prefer the word, mastery, instead of proficiency, but as I watched the exchange between Al Franken and Betty DeVos I heard reference to the “proficiency v growth” debate. It reminds me the assessment of learning is no easy matter, and it takes time, thought and effort to understand such issues. Unfortunately, Betty DeVos doesn’t seem to be familiarized with some of the most basic issues in the field of Education (for example, assessment of learning), thus she is entirely unqualified for a leadership role as Secretary.
At this point, she’s been approved and is serving in the role of Secretary. I don’t think this story ends happily. For myself, being relatively without power, it is most useful if I focus on the integration of proficiency with growth, leading to a nuanced approach in teaching and evaluation.
A good starting point for discussion and understanding of this issue is: