Category Archives: Accountability

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

Maine DOE provides flexibility to SAUs to ensure implementation of proficiency-based diploma

The following Priority Notice was distributed to superintendents today, affirming the Department’s commitment to the state’s students being awarded diplomas based on proficiency and previewing the flexibility it was providing to districts in meeting a requirement to do so by 2018.

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Maine DOE strengthens educator effectiveness

Following several changes by the Maine Legislature, I am pleased to say that the Department has finally adopted Rule Chapter 180, which establishes standards and procedures for the implementation of performance evaluation and professional growth systems (known as PE/PG systems) that each school administrative unit (SAU) is required to have implemented by the 2015-16 school year. PE/PG systems for teachers and principals improve educator effectiveness by establishing clear expectations for professional practice and student learning/growth and providing actionable feedback and support to help educators meet them.

The Department outlined the changes it made through the public rulemaking process last fall in a previous Commissioner’s Update dispatch. It is important to note that during the Legislature’s review this spring of Maine DOE’s provisionally-adopted rule, there was agreement that student growth measures should be a significant factor in determining a teacher or principal effectiveness rating and that local school boards have the authority and responsibility to approve or reject the stakeholder group’s proposed PE/PG system plan. Additionally, the Legislature maintained that the Maine DOE will still have to approve PE/PG system plans and that there are contingencies if local stakeholder groups can’t reach consensus, including adoption of a State model.

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