From Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier
Last week, I had the opportunity to spend two full days at the annual conference of the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine (ACTEM). To say I was impressed and inspired by what I experienced would be an understatement. Maine has long been looked to as a national leader when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom and the energy and expertise I saw in the hundreds of technology educators at the conference proved why.
I was especially impacted by the session I attended entitled “A Day in the iPad Empowered Elementary Classroom.” To see how Maine educators are using technology to change the way they teach students is almost as exciting as seeing how students – including those only in Kindergarten – are responding. Maine kids are being engaged and empowered as leaders in their own learning through these new tools in ways that many adults like me can’t even imagine. It is critical we keep up with their appetite and aptitude by finding innovative ways to leverage technology to continue to improve not just the experience of our students but their academic achievement.
I want to thank Maine’s many technology educators who are doing just that in classrooms across the state every day. Not only are you enhancing the educational environment for our students, but you are better preparing them for success in 21st century college and careers.
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Maine’s Education Commissioner will spend Thursday in the classrooms of the state’s third largest school district to see how proficiency-based education is transforming teaching and learning there. | More
Turner Elementary School in MSAD 52 is one of 287 public schools across the country to be named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School for high levels of student achievement. | More
A second public virtual charter school being proposed in Maine was unanimously advanced to the next round of review by the state’s Charter Commission. | More
A panel of district leaders who have experienced the challenges and the success of developing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems shared their success strategies at a recent seminar. | More
The board and staff of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance have selected Ruth Kermish-Allen, currently Director of Education at the Island Institute and a resident of Appleton, as the organization’s next Executive Director. | More
Community groups and schools across the state will be conducting activities to raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse throughout Maine’s Alcohol Awareness Week, Dec. 1-5. | More
Maine schools are encouraged to enter the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a creative and collaborative competition that offers up to $20,000 in grants for winning middle schools and high schools. | More
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Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Charter School Commission, Charter schools, Commissioner's Updates, Educator Effectiveness, Families, Governor LePage, Mathematics, Penobscot County, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Public meetings, School Choice, Science & Technology, Standards, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
A panel of district leaders who have experienced the challenges and the success of developing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems shared their success strategies with more than 100 participants from across the state at a recent seminar hosted by legal firm Drummond Woodsum in partnership with the Maine School Management Association.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Dispatches, Educator Effectiveness, Elementary School, Events, Featured, High School, Instruction, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, Professional Development, School Improvement, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Last week I had the honor of announcing Jennifer Dorman as the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Dorman, who dreamed of being a teacher since her very first day of Kindergarten, has been a special educator in Somerset County schools for two decades, most recently at Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) where she is a seventh-and eighth-grade special education and reading intervention teacher.
Posted in Administrative Letters, Educator Effectiveness, From the Commissioner, Instruction, Maine Teacher of the Year, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, Somerset County, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
As originally noted in a dispatch dated June 4, changes to the MEDMS Educator Quality and Effectiveness (EQE) Survey are still in progress. The changes discussed in June have since evolved.
Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Data Management, Dispatches, Educator Effectiveness, Featured, News & Views, Operations, School Improvement, Teachers, Teaching & Learning, Technology
Congratulations on the start of the 2014-15 school year!
This week, Maine students are fortunate to be heading back to schools where they will be welcomed by educators who encourage their love of learning and are deeply dedicated to ensuring every one of them is successful.
On behalf of Governor LePage and all of us at the Department, I want to thank those teachers, administrators and other school staff for their care for and commitment to our students. Maine kids are increasingly being inspired in their classrooms and achievement in their studies is rising as a result, putting them on a path for future college and career success.
Posted in Academics, Accountability, Administrators, Adult Ed, Assessment, Continuous Learning, Early Childhood, Educator Effectiveness, Elementary School, Families, From the Commissioner, High School, Higher Ed, Instruction, Middle School, Operations, People, Professional Development, Proficiency-Based Diploma, School Improvement, Standards, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
As educators across the state know, the last two years have been abundant with conversation, revision and activity related to developing and implementing Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems so that all students have access to effective teachers and principals.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Dispatches, Educator Effectiveness, Elementary School, Featured, High School, Instruction, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, Professional Development, School Improvement, Teachers, Teaching & Learning