Category Archives: Assessment

Commissioner’s Update – October 30, 2014

From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Earlier this year, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems to support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018.

I continue to be appreciative of the positive feedback we regularly receive in response to offering that flexibility. Many educators and district leaders have commented that while they had initially been uncertain about the extension application process, it ended up being a valuable opportunity for reflection that helped focus local efforts moving forward to best ensure quality implementation.

But nothing has been more encouraging than seeing the high number of extension applications and confirmations of readiness that the Department received by the Oct. 18 final deadline. To date, 95 applications/confirmations representing 99 high schools have been submitted and we have been contacted by superintendents representing seven other high schools that their applications are forthcoming following local school board approval. This overwhelming response reflects the statewide commitment to better preparing our students for college and career success.

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Notices and Reporting

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News & Views

Commissioner Rier: Planning for 2014-15 statewide assessment success

Though the March 16 through May 29, 2015 window schools have for administering this new Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy is months away, there is already significant work underway across the state to ensure staff and students are prepared for success. | More

Maine DOE welcomes new assessment and accountability staff

Charlene Tucker and Nancy Godfrey have joined Maine DOE as members of the assessment and accountability team. | More

Workshops offered for suicide prevention

The Maine Suicide Prevention Program is offering a series of workshops for school personnel to create and strengthen protocols around suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. | More

Maine DOE proposing rules to public preschool programs

The Maine DOE is proposing rules pertaining to public preschool programs. | More

Input sought for teacher shortage areas

The Maine DOE has been notified of the requirement to submit Maine teacher shortage areas by Dec. 11 for designation by the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) for the 2015-2016 school year. | More

RFP issued for education-related services for homeless children and youth

The Maine DOE has reissued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids to develop and implement programs providing educational and related services under the McKinney-Vento Act. | More

School food service employees recognized for years of service

The Maine DOE and Maine School Nutrition Association recently honored several local school food service staff members for their 20 years or more of service at their fall conference. | More

Hyde School to host Maine Youth Leadership Day, students invited

Hyde School in Bath will be hosting its second annual Maine Youth Leadership Day on Nov. 6. | More

Portland Public Schools publish learning guides for families

A series of new learning guides for families that outline what students in kindergarten through grade five are expected to know and be able to master in mathematics and English language arts has been developed by Portland Public Schools. | More

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LATEST DOE Career/Project Opportunities

Maine DOE welcomes new assessment and accountability staff

Charlene Tucker and Nancy Godfrey have joined Maine DOE as members of the assessment and accountability team.

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Planning for success: 2014-15 State assessment

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Oct. 28 regarding Maine’s plans for a successful administration of the 2014-15 State assessment.

Dear Maine Educators, Students and Families,

This October marks the first in recent memory during which Maine students in Grades 3-8 are not taking their State assessment. Instead, next spring students in those grades or in their third year of high school will take the Smarter Balanced aligned assessment that Maine will now use for State and federal accountability purposes. Continue reading

All students, all standards but different demonstrations of proficiency

As Maine moves toward a proficiency-based education system that will ensure students graduate from our high schools having mastered State learning standards, I am often asked what this expectation means for our nearly 30,000 students with disabilities.

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Smarter Balanced Digital Library surpasses 2K item mark, workshops offered

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce the Smarter Balanced Digital Library, a collection of vetted instructional, assessment and professional development resources, currently contains more than 2,000 resources, including each grade level, K-12, in the content areas of mathematics and English language arts.

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Fourth cohort of Maine Governor’s STEM Academy graduates

The 23 Academy Fellows who graduated from the Governor’s Academy for STEM Education Leadership program this summer were provided with professional development opportunities designed to build leadership qualities with a focus on STEM integration.

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Resources available to support transition to computerized English language proficiency assessment

In 2015-2016, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0, a computerized assessment, will replace the current paper-based version of ACCESS for ELLs for Grades 1-12. The paper-based assessment will continue to be available as an accommodation and for districts that do not have the technology to administer the assessment online. Kindergarten is not included in the changes and will remain an interactive, paper-based kit for the near future.

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Invitation to participate in NECAP science inquiry task field test

The Maine DOE is recruiting schools to serve as field testing sites to administer the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science Inquiry Tasks in grades 5, 8 and 11. The field tests give students the opportunity to engage with science content in non-traditional assessments and students are asked to provide feedback about their experience.

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NAEP tools available, board members sought

The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), has unveiled a Back-to-School section on its website with resources for schools and stakeholders to prepare students for the upcoming assessment.

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Dine and Discuss to focus on formative assessment, digital library

The Maine Council of English Language Arts (MCELA) with support from the Maine DOE is inviting educators to attend an evening of collegial discussion and a light dinner to learn about formative assessment with an introduction to the Smarter Balanced digital library. Aligned with comprehensive assessments that provide more information about student learning and achievement than previous tests, the library will give educators high-quality, vetted tools to tailor instruction to individual student and classroom needs. Educators will also be able to submit resources and engage in online discussions to share information and learn from colleagues in Maine and across the country.

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