Maine schools have long been looked to as national leaders in education innovation.
That’s why I am not surprised that Education Week recently named three of our state’s schools to a list of those across the country worth visiting. Continue reading
Posted in Academics, Accountability, Administrators, Androscoggin County, Center for Best Practice, Cumberland County, Educator Effectiveness, Families, From the Commissioner, Instruction, Kennebec County, News & Views, Proficiency-Based Diploma, School Improvement, Students, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Tagged Casco Bay High School, Maine DOE Center for Best Practice, Poland Regional High School, Portland Public Schools
Students Adie Hughes and Chase Hathorn from the Weatherbee School in Hampden present their teacher, Susan Carpenter O’Brien, a semi-finalist for the 2014 Teacher of the Year, at a banquet in Portland last Friday as Acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier looks on.
Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the annual Teacher of the Year banquet, hosted at Unum’s Portland campus.
It was exciting to see the education and business communities come together to celebrate these champions for children. As Acting Education Commissioner, I hope to facilitate us working together more to ensure we are best serving our students and our great State. Continue reading
Posted in Accountability, Center for Best Practice, Educator Effectiveness, Elementary School, From the Commissioner, High School, Instruction, Middle School, School Improvement, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Tagged Maine Teacher of the Year
Maine educators developed performance assessments at a workshop at Husson University.
As part of its work to support schools in their awarding of proficiency-based diplomas, the Maine DOE is developing sample performance assessments of Maine’s Guiding Principles. The goal of this work is to create a repository of performance assessments that provide student demonstrations of proficiency across a variety of content areas.
Dr. Thomas E. Keller has recently been appointed executive director of the Maine STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Council. The council was established by the Legislature in 2011 to “develop strategies for enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education from prekindergarten through postsecondary education.” The council mandate also includes linking these STEM education strategies to those for workforce development in STEM fields.
More than 200 visual and performing arts educators attended the biennial statewide conference, Arts Education: Leading the Way, held at the University of Maine in October. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), established by the Maine DOE in 2011, enlisted its teacher leaders to present 35 professional development workshops at this event.
In August, the Department announced that we’d secured federal flexibility for Maine schools in the form of a two-year waiver from some provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
At the heart of Maine’s approved plan is a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support for Maine’s 380 Title I-served schools. Schools are placed, based on student proficiency and progress, in one of five categories: priority, focus, monitor, progressing and meeting.
Nominations are now open for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) 2013-14 competition, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Maine DOE’s Literacy for ME initiative recently hosted a Critical Friends meeting to share its accomplishments and offer guidance for ongoing implementation efforts. This meeting marked the first-year implementation anniversary of Literacy for ME, a statewide initiative intended to bolster literacy learning opportunities across the birth to adult span. Literacy for ME includes a State literacy plan that promotes state-level literacy education efforts as well as the development of community-based literacy teams.
Note: This is a joint announcement from Acting Commissioner of Education Jim Rier and Guy Cousins, director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
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. 2-6, which includes Alcohol Awareness Day on Monday, Dec. 2.
Improving educator effectiveness is the single most important action we can take for our students. Study after study shows that students who are assigned to effective teachers and school leaders make noticeably more academic progress than those who are not.