Category Archives: Administrators

A summer of NEO

Over 750 people have participated in the 13 NEO data system training workshops across the state with the final two sessions wrapping up this week.

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Deadline is nearing to report proficiency-based implementation progress

The following priority notice was sent today to district administrators as a reminder to complete the 2014-15 proficiency-based learning implementation survey.

The month-long window for completing the 2014-2015 Progress Report: Implementing Proficiency-Based Learning and Proficiency-Based Diplomas is closing on August 27. This 38 question survey released on July 27 provides Maine districts a way to report vital data to the Maine DOE regarding the progress made from July 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015. Many districts say the survey has served as a reflective tool as they set goals and metrics to measure progress.

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Reporting of 2015 math and ELA/literacy results

Results from the spring 2015 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for mathematics and English language arts/literacy are being carefully rolled out. The steps in that process include:

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No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Report Cards now available

The 2014-15 NCLB Report Cards, showing levels of performance at Maine schools for the 2013-14 school year, are now available through the Maine DOE Data Warehouse.

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Funds to support proficiency-based diploma transition

Maine school administrative units (SAUs), that operate public schools, will receive targeted funds to support the transition to a proficiency-based diploma again this year.

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Maine DOE accomplishments for the first half of the year

The first six months of 2015 saw great success for the Maine DOE including these highlights:

  • Successful passage of legislation supporting Maine schools;
  • recognition for the State’s success in the transition to a computer-based assessment aligned with Maine’s updated college and career readiness standards;
  • the opportunity for Maine students to earn college credits while in high school; and
  • a steady increase in graduation rates, and more.

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Maine schools invited to study and track weather

Are you a WeatherBug? Maine Schools can now connect more closely with the communities they serve through studying and tracking weather.

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Maine Department of Education awarded flexibility from Feds

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education received a three-year waiver allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB), whose reauthorization was recently debated and is being revised in our nation’s capital. While the revised ESEA shrinks the federal role yielding greater power to states to judge student achievement and school performance (from regulations outlined under NCLB), this recent waiver provides Maine educators and State and local leaders the opportunity for continued work toward rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.

“In 2013, Maine’s waiver application was approved by USDOE, but this renewal of the waiver required diligent, persistent work on behalf of Maine DOE,” says Acting Commissioner Thomas Desjardin. “We worked relentlessly with Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education and his staff as the federal government had exerted extreme authority over states in the past. The Maine DOE staff worked diligently in securing the original waiver and again in this renewal process in making adjustments addressing USDOE points. In March, Maine lawmakers joined in passing legislation, LD 692, including rule making, to assist our efforts in this waiver renewal request, making this a collaborative effort.”

This waiver, the first three-year waiver ever issued by USDOE, allows Maine to continue on the path with more time for students to learn and educators to teach. ESEA flexibility has and will continue to allow Maine to focus resources on comprehensive, rigorous interventions in the lowest-performing schools, while ensuring that all low-achieving students have the supports they need to catch up to their peers. ESEA flexibility also has an effect of energizing teacher and principal effectiveness work across Maine and puts the focus on creating feedback systems that show the impact teachers and principals are having on student learning and shine a light on best practices to support teachers’ development.

At the heart of the State’s continued efforts is a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support for Maine’s Title I-served schools, distinguished not just by student proficiency but also progress. As a result, Maine’s mission is to cut in half the percentage of non-proficient students at each school in the coming years. This is done through the continued implementation of the Maine Learning Results, a set of high standards geared to help Maine students be career and college ready.

For more information contact: Acting Commissioner tom.desjardin@maine.gov, 624-6620, or Director of Communications anne.gabbianelli@maine.gov, 624-6747, 592-4439.

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Standardized Assessment Task Force update

Work continues as the Standardized Assessment Task Force participates in an email exchange of questions and answers, a system which was designed to be less invasive on members’ summer vacation and repeated travel to Augusta (even from as far away as St Agatha) for structured meetings.

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Maine DOE clarifies calculation of Maintenance of Effort for IDEA funds

The Maine DOE Office of Special Services is clarifying the calculation of local entitlement funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The federal requirement, maintenance of effort, may be calculated in four different ways:

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