Category Archives: Academics

Opportunity to learn is central in proficiency-based education

Student demonstration of proficiency as outlined in the State standards in all eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results and the Guiding Principles has at its foundation an infrastructure built on providing opportunities for students to access knowledge and to develop understanding that fosters transferable learning.

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Maine Arts Assessment Initiative hosts New England Summit on Arts Education

The Maine DOE joined over 90 educators, teaching artists, and interdisciplinary teams at the New England Summit on Arts Education, July 29-August 1, at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. This three day professional training opportunity was coordinated by the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and provided participants with a collaborative approach to explore methods of teaching, learning, and assessment in arts education.

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Maine DOE announces PEPG resources

The following Priority Notice was distributed to superintendents today to announce the release of PEPG resources for educator effectiveness.

Dear Superintendents,

Discussions at the Commissioners Conference in June yielded valuable input for the development of the Maine DOE Teacher Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) Model. In the weeks following the conference, the Department met with a variety of stakeholder groups to revise and finalize the model and companion documents, a collection of resources that will support schools in ensuring that every learner has access to highly effective teachers and school leaders.

This week the Department is releasing the Maine DOE Teacher Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (T-PEPG) Model Handbook and the Maine DOE Student Learning Objective (SLO) Handbook. The T-PEGP model builds on three years of educator effectiveness work conducted by teachers and leaders in Maine schools and satisfies the requirement that the Department develop a model that can be used by districts that are unable to reach consensus in the adoption of their own PEPG models. These documents are the first two resources to be released. During the first week in August the Department will release a Maine DOE Principal Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (P-PEPG) model based on the MPA Principal model. A second P-PEPG model based on the MSFE work will be released in September 2014.

As required of any PEPG model, the Maine DOE T-PEPG satisfies the requirements of Chapter 508 of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A and Rule Chapter 180.

The Maine T- PEPG handbook has four distinct uses. It can serve as:

  • A model to be voluntarily adopted in its entirety prior to June 1, 2015;
  • A model to be adopted in its entirety by SAUs who are not able to complete the development of a model in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 180 prior to June 1, 2015;
  • A model to be adopted in part and merged with locally determined elements  by SAUs prior to June 1, 2015; or
  • A guide to local SAUs in developing and implementing a model.

The 2014-2015 school year will serve as a pilot year for the Maine DOE T-PEPG model. From September 2014 through March 2015 the Department will collaborate with a handful of schools to collect formative feedback on the model. The Department will use that feedback to publish a revised T-PEPG in April of 2015.

I believe Maine students deserve to graduate confident that they have the knowledge and skills needed for success. One of the surest ways to support the success our future graduates is to support the effectiveness of our current teachers and leaders. Many Maine schools are well on their way to implementing systems that support professional growth. The Maine DOE T-PEPG Model and the SLO Handbook are two additional resources to be used in that work. The Department will do all that we can within our authority and capacity to continue to support these efforts.

Jim Rier, Commissioner
Maine Department of Education

OSEP letter cautions on using alternative graduation requirements for students with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education has advised Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education John White that a new Louisiana law allowing students with disabilities to follow a different route to a high school diploma than what’s required of other students may violate the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as other federal requirements.

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Maine DOE awards ConnectME technology grants

The Maine DOE’s Office of Adult Education and Family Literacy awarded twelve $5,000 ConnectME technology grants to adult education programs and four $2,500 technology grants to literacy volunteer programs to enhance the capacity of the organizations to effectively utilize the state’s expanding broadband capacity.

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Maine FFA Association student officers participate in national leadership conference

Student officers of the Maine FFA Association (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) attended the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO), a regional leadership training in Croghan, New York, June 28-July 2. They joined 36 peers from surrounding New England states and New York.

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Maine’s County Teachers of the Year one step closer

Maine’s County Teachers of the Year have been hard at work this summer. They have now completed their oral presentations and are one step closer to becoming Maine’s State Teacher of the Year. These 16 teachers, representing every area of our state, have developed a platform that keep students at the center of their work advocating for teachers, students, and quality education in Maine.

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Maine Department of Labor proposes rule changes to assist CTE students

The following release was originally published by the Maine Department of Labor on July 29, 2014.  

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Labor announced in a news release proposed changes to rules surrounding job training programs for minors. The purpose of the proposed change is to allow students enrolled in approved Career and Technical educational programs to train on specific equipment, located at a business that is necessary for their course of study.

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Proficiency-based diploma extension applications now available to SAUs

The following Priority Notice was distributed to superintendents Tuesday, July 22.

Dear Superintendents,

Discussions at the Commissioners Conference in June yielded valuable input for the diploma extensions application process. In the weeks following the conference, three school administrative units in Maine agreed to pilot the application process by completing the extension request best suited to their level of preparedness to award a proficiency-based diploma.

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Special rates for Maine teachers at National Council for the Social Studies conference

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) will host the nation’s largest and most comprehensive social studies professional development conference at its 2014 Annual Conference in Boston, November 21-23.

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