Proficiency Workbook: It's About Time—A Framework for Proficiency-based Teaching & Learning

Thank you for your interest in the Business Education Compact’s ground-breaking workbook, It’s About Time.

The book is now available for purchase!

It's About Time - Proficiency Workbook

About the Workbook

  • How can time-related learning barriers be set aside in favor of measuring what students actually know and can do?
  • What does a proficiency-based classroom look like?
  • How are students “graded” in a proficiency-based learning environment?
  • What should a district consider to create a stable and successful proficiency-based teaching and learning environment?

It’s About Time—A Framework for Proficiency-based Teaching & Learning answers these questions and more. Designed as a teacher self-evaluation workbook, the publication contains a variety of support sections to help everyone from the district or building administrator to the classroom teacher and assistant.

It’s About Time is designed to inform and support teachers, students, administrators and school board members who are willing to take bold steps to transform their classrooms, schools and districts so that all students’ needs are met for them to be successful. It describes how to create a system in schools where students advance upon mastery.

Foundation funding for an independent evaluator provided the BEC with necessary resources for ground-breaking research and evaluation that validates the effectiveness of proficiency practice. From rural schools to urban schools, from small schools to large comprehensive high schools—the results are consistent: high gains in student achievement and success!

Tested and piloted in four Oregon school districts in 2010-2011 school year.

Print version: 11 x 8.5 wire-bound workbook; 76 pages; high-quality offset; printed in USA

Workbook Contents

Educators will find the following sections to help implement proficiency:

Assessment options

Gain ideas for types of formative and summative assessments that support proficiency-based practices. Learn how interventions and acceleration options fit into the well-known pyramid structure for meeting the needs of students from those who are classroom capable to those who need extended learning and support services.

Classroom scenarios

Read descriptions of what goes on in a classroom with well-developed proficiency-based teaching and learning practices. What would a teacher or administrator expect to see? How would students talk about their learning? Follow the development of changes in the roles of teacher and student from an elementary setting through high school core content and career-technical options.

Strategic and systemic implementation

Administrators at the district and building levels will learn how potential changes in building use, budget, calendar, hiring practices, policy, professional development and resource allocation can support successful and sustainable proficiency-based practices.

Questions & Suggestions

More than 150 teachers generated a variety of questions about proficiency implementation, from the most general concept to the pickiest detail. They helped us develop logical, easy-to-understand suggestions that fit every-day situations from the district to the classroom.

Proficiency-based teaching and learning process rubrics

Six constructs define the proficiency process: Target, Plan, Teach, Assess, Verify and Reflect. Teacher and student rubrics in each construct spell out the classroom practices, behaviors and strategies that occur in highly successful, well-developed proficiency-based learning environments. Teachers use these rubrics to self-evaluate their current level of skill and, either individually or as a team, develop professional development plans to become masters at proficiency-based practices.

A Glimpse Inside

Preview of Proficiency Pages PDF


“I believe that this resource is the very best in print in the entire country. It’s About Time is a brilliant piece of work that, when used, will absolutely improve education across the nation.”

Jerome Colonna, Retired Superintendent, Beaverton School District (OR)

“Oregon’s vision for education is that every child achieves academic success. Proficiency-based education is vital to our efforts. It’s About Time is an indispensable tool for Oregon and the nation to make substantial progress on this journey of profound change.”

John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., Governor of the State of Oregon

“This guide provides a common sense outline of the keys to proficiency-driven instruction. A very special feature is that it honors the role of day-to-day classroom assessment FOR learning.”

Rick Stiggins, Assessment Consultant

Diane Smith

About the Author

Diane Smith is a life-long teacher, beginning her career as a playground monitor in fourth grade. Her 34-year public school experience spans instruction at the elementary, middle, high school and college levels. She is an expert in the fields of curriculum and instruction and has served as a teacher, alternative school principal and Director of Curriculum for the Greater Albany Public School District in Albany, Oregon. Diane is the Business Education Compact’s Director of the Teaching & Learning Initiative.

Purchase Options

  • Print copy: $24.95 (MSRP) + shipping and handling ($5.95 flat rate shipping)
    Volume pricing available for educational institutions (10 or more)
  • Electronic copy: $19.95 (MSRP)
    An electronic copy will be sent via email upon receipt of your check or purchase order
  • Educational pricing available to bundle electronic and print copies

How to Order

To request book shipment or an electronic copy of It’s About Time:

  1. Complete order form It’s About Time; BEC; 4800 SW Griffith Dr. Suite 250 Beaverton, OR 97005, or
  2. Email the completed order form with purchase order (including your name, organization and mailing address) to or
  3. Request special educational pricing by phone (503) 536-4301 or email at


For more information and to view other proficiency resources developed by the BEC such as the proficiency portal (a document library of proficiency material for classrooms), please visit our website at