Category Archives: Accountability

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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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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Commissioner’s Conference focuses on Proficiency-Based Diplomas and Educator Effectiveness

In closing comments of the 103rd Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, Education Commissioner Jim Rier applauded attendees for their attention and participation in the general and break-out sessions during the 3-day event. The Department collaborated with Maine School Management Association in planning the conference, which was designed to provide superintendents and other district administrators with guidance, technical assistance and practical tools to use in implementing recently-passed legislation.

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Maine DOE releases results from proficiency-based Readiness Inventory

The Maine DOE has released results from the proficiency-based diploma Readiness Inventory, a tool designed to help school districts better understand their progress toward proficiency and to help determine which of the six extension options is best for them to pursue.

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Adult education graduation truly a new beginning

Over the past month, I’ve had the privilege of speaking at not one, but three, adult education graduations. Having a small part in the celebration of the huge accomplishments of these unique students has been one of the greatest honors I’ve had as your Commissioner of Education.

Earning a high school diploma requires incredible hard work and perseverance, even under the best of circumstances. But the best of circumstances isn’t something many adult education students have known when it comes to their schooling.

Though they don’t make the front pages like their traditional high school or collegiate counterparts, the stories of the graduates I have seen receive their high school diploma or its equivalent through adult education have been especially humbling and serve as a reminder of adult education’s critical role in our communities.

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Human resources most integral to school improvement

This week, the Department had the honor of announcing it was awarding $1.6 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding to James Otis Kaler Elementary.

The South Portland school intends to use this State support to raise student proficiency in math and reading by 10 percent annually over the next three years by better supporting students, enhancing educator effectiveness and increasing parent/community engagement.

The commitment to school improvement is not new to Kaler. In 2011, a school-based renewal effort was launched, but meaningful headway has yet to be made. The school received an “F” on its State report card the last two years, and just 38.5 percent of its students are proficient in math and 44.4 percent in reading.

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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 DOE to implement new school staff survey

Please note that this notification is different from the NEO based HQT data collection requirement discussed in a recent Commissioner’s Update.

Maine school administrative units (SAUs) have been completing the Educator Quality and Effectiveness Survey initiated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) annually since 2010. The survey data has been collected through the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS).   Certain data elements of this survey are required for the Department’s annual federal reporting and other elements related to teacher and principal performance evaluation and professional growth (PE/PG) are now being collected by the Department’s educator effectiveness coordinator.  As a result and building upon the feedback collected from previous year’s surveys, the Department is implementing a new process for the data collection. Continue reading

Maine DOE offers training to new ESEA/NCLB coordinators

The Maine DOE is inviting new coordinators of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title Programs to a free training session in Augusta on July 10.
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State supports proficiency-based diplomas, offers districts implementation flexibility

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education affirmed its commitment to the state’s students being awarded diplomas based on proficiency but announced today it would give school districts more flexibility in meeting a requirement to do so by 2018. Continue reading