Category Archives: Continuous Learning

As we enter the home stretch, a thank you

This week’s Commissioner’s Update is landing in inboxes as many of you are hopefully enjoying a well-deserved April vacation.

The days between now and when the school year ends in June will likely be your busiest, and include a flurry of budget preparations, the administration of the SAT and/or Smarter Balanced field tests, the release of the State school report cards, all of the preparations that go into graduation and so much more.

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Committed to rigorous standards, aligned assessments

Last week, the Maine Education Association (MEA) announced its reservations about the updated math and ELA standards that were incorporated into the Maine Learning Results back in 2011 and have been being implemented in Maine schools since. They also called for a moratorium on the next generation of assessments aligned to those standards, developed in collaboration with Maine teachers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Maine is currently a governing member.
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MPBN launches free online resource for teachers

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has launched a new educational offering available to educators across Maine at http://www.mpbn.net.

PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a web-based resource that provides PreK-12 educators with access to free digital content for their classrooms designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement.
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Scholarships available for educators of English learners

The University of Maine Project Reach program is inviting K-12 teachers across subject areas to apply to its scholarship program, which aims to improve classroom instruction for English learners (ELs) in Maine. The project focuses efforts on current teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and provides a variety of professional and financial assistance to help teachers complete the English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement coursework.
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Tripp Middle School wins top nutrition award

TURNER – Tripp Middle School is the first middle school in Maine to earn a Gold Medal in the US Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge.

Students and staff at the RSU 52 school were presented the prestigious award last week by USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon at an assembly also attended by Maine DOE’s Gail Lombardi.
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Save the date for ESL Summer Academy in June

The Maine DOE is encouraging educators of English learners to save the date for the 4th Annual ESL Summer Academy for teachers and administrators, scheduled to run from Tuesday, June 24 through Thursday, June 26 at the University of Maine in Orono.
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Maine chosen for rural dropout prevention project

Maine has been selected as one of 15 states to work with the US Department of Education and the National Dropout Prevention Network/Center on the Rural Dropout Prevention Project.
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Maine high school graduation rates continue to climb

The State Department of Education is encouraged by the increase, but says a wide graduation-proficiency gap and high college remediation rates show Maine schools must prioritize proficiency

AUGUSTA – Maine’s high school graduation rate continues to climb with 86.36 percent of all students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2009 earning their diplomas on time in 2013, but State education officials stress that proficiency must be the top priority.

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Learning from the latest NECAP results: Part II

In last week’s Commissioner’s Update, I shared with you an analysis of the statewide math and reading results for the 2013-14 New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), administered this past October.

With the exception of Grade 5 math and writing, we saw flat or declining scores in all other grades and content areas. Digging into the data shows us where strengths and struggles are, and focuses improvement initiatives.

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Maine schools participating in field test for next generation of assessments

Schools across Maine voluntarily began participating in the field test of the Smarter Balanced assessments in grades 3-8 and 11 this week. Smarter Balanced assessments are a key part of implementing Maine’s college and career readiness standards and preparing all students for success beyond high school.

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