Commissioner’s Update – July 25, 2013

From the Commissioner

Following the launch of the Maine School Performance Grading System, we’ve spent our time reaching out to underperforming and at-risk schools to learn more about their challenges and the supports they’d like Maine DOE to provide.

What we continue to hear is that schools want to learn from other Maine schools that are like them. In the words of one school leader, “Tell us what’s working in other places with similar populations and budget concerns.” That’s the thinking behind our Center for Best Practice, which provides success stories (and videos) from schools in our state implementing learner-centered instructional practices.

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News & Views

What does a Common Core classroom look like?

Trying to paint a picture for your parents, school board members or community leaders of what school looks like with the new standards in math and English language arts? In this new publication, “Seeing the Future: How the Common Core Will Affect Mathematics and English Language Arts in Grades 3-12 Across America,” the Center for K-12 Assessment and Performance Management at ETS gives parents, school board members and the public a detailed look at how educators from across the country are incorporating the new standards and shifting their instruction. | More

Maine students invited to help NASA

In March, NASA launched an exciting new partnership with Lockheed Martin to engage students across the nation in America’s next phase of human space exploration. The Exploration Design Challenge (EDC) is now inviting Maine students from kindergarten through 12th grade to learn more about one of the biggest challenges NASA faces before sending humans beyond low-Earth orbit: space radiation. | More

Race to the Top district competition seeks peer reviewers

The U.S. Department of Education has announced a second Race to the Top district grant competition and is looking for qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers. This competition will build on the success of past Race to the Top competitions and support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness. | More

State Education Board has new leadership

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Board of Education has new leadership, having elected Nancy S. Perkins as chair and Peter E. Geiger as vice-chair. Perkins, of Cornish, had previously served as vice-chair and replaces outgoing chair Dr. Steven M. Pound, who will remain on the board. | More

County students to benefit from Aroostook Aspirations Initiative

AROOSTOOK COUNTY - A first-of-its-kind, County-wide project will provide significant opportunities for young people in the region to pursue their dreams, and, in turn, support higher education institutions and bolster economic development efforts in northern Maine. | More

U.S. DOE requests information on Native American English learners

The U.S. Department of Education has re-opened its Request for Information (RFI) on Native American English learners. The purpose of the RFI is to gather information pertaining to the identification and placement of Native American students who are English learners in language instruction educational programs. | More

Update: Register for Agriculture in the Classroom Institute

Openings are still available for the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom’s “Summer Teacher’s Institute,” held July 29–Aug. 2. | More

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