Category Archives: Social Studies

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 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.

Sincerely,
Jim Rier, Commissioner
Maine Department of Education

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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American Institutes for Research selected to administer Smarter Balanced assessments

The following Priority Notice was distributed to educators on Monday, July 7.

Dear Educators,

Earlier this year, the Department made clear our commitment to rigorous standards and aligned assessments. To that end, I wanted to let you know we have just selected the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to administer our Smarter Balanced aligned State assessments in grades 3-8 and grade 11 for the 2014-15 school year.

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Maine high school student wins national contest

Noah Binette, a freshman at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine, has won first place for his exhibit about Malaga Island at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day competition recently held at the University of Maryland.

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Materials released in advance of Commissioner’s Conference

The following Priority Notice was distributed to school superintendents today in advance of the 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents:

Dear Superintendents,

We look forward to working with you next week during the 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, scheduled to begin at noon on Monday, June 23 at Point Lookout in Northport.

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State awards South Portland’s Kaler Elementary $1.6 million for school improvement

The funding from the Maine Department of Education will help transform the struggling school and increase student achievement, teacher effectiveness and community engagement

SOUTH PORTLAND – A South Portland elementary school will use $1.6 million awarded today by the Maine Department of Education to raise student proficiency in math and reading by 10 percent annually over the next three years. Continue reading

Maine teachers chosen for summer humanities institute

PORTLAND– Five Maine teachers have been selected as National Endowment for the Humanities (NEW) Summer Scholars from a national applicant pool to attend an Acadian culture summer institute.
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Statewide symposium to focus on Civil War legacies in Maine

As part of the major collaborative project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maine Historical Society and the Maine Humanities Council will host a Civil War Symposium focusing on Maine after the war. The half-day event will be held at the Morgan Hill Event Center in Hermon from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

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