Category Archives: Common Core

Maine arts teachers focus on standards, assessment

Arts teachers from across the state met at the University of Maine at Orono for a Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) regional workshop earlier this month. The workshop focused on articulating proficiency in arts learning and developing proficiency models for different grade levels.

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Maine’s State Board of Education receives national grant

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has awarded $15,000 to the Maine State Board of Education to advance the state’s education reform work on Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Deeper Learning Principles and school leadership. Maine is one of only six boards to receive a stipend award. Kentucky, West Virginia, Guam, Washington D.C. and Delaware were also selected.

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Successful transition to proficiency-based diploma starts now

In the spring of 2018, the students now in eighth grade will become the state’s first class to graduate having demonstrated their mastery of all State standards in the eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results.

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Educators help develop formative assessment digital library

This summer, 71 Maine educators began helping to develop a formative assessment digital library to accompany Maine’s new assessments, which will be administered starting in the spring of 2015. The library is an online, interactive clearinghouse of resources, tools and professional learning opportunities for educators, students and families. It will include examples of instructional best practices at each grade level, strategies for cross-classroom collaboration and professional development resources related to the assessment system, such as scoring rubrics for performance tasks.

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New toolkit measures alignment of materials to standards

Trying to determine whether a lesson plan, textbook or other item aligns with Maine’s updated math and English language arts (ELA) standards? A free comprehensive toolkit for evaluating alignment to the Expectation of those standards is now available.

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National poetry contest open to Maine high schools

Maine high schools are invited to register for Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide program that encourages youth to learn about poetry through memorization and performance. Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence and learn about their literary heritage.

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Topsham elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

TOPSHAM – An elementary school in Topsham that has seen double-digit increases over the last five years in the percentage of its students deemed proficient is Maine’s National Blue Ribbon School.

The Williams-Cone School in RSU 75 was one of 236 public schools across the country named this morning by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan into the prestigious program that recognizes schools where students perform at very high levels or show significant improvements in closing achievement gaps. Continue reading

Maine DOE releases updated math web pages

In an effort to better serve Maine’s mathematics teachers, Maine DOE has updated its math web pages at so they are more user-friendly and provide expanded resources to support educators in their local implementation of Maine’s standards.

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Affirming Maine’s commitment to high standards, implemented locally

As you may have seen in the press, some concerns and questions have been raised recently about the Common Core standards in math and ELA, which the State incorporated into its Learning Results standards in 2011. Many of those concerns seem to stem from suspicions that the Common Core is an attempt by the federal government to influence education policy in the states and, as a consequence, that the adoption of these standards will diminish Maine’s longstanding tradition of local control as it regards things like curricula and instructional approaches. Continue reading

Reminder: Smarter Balanced practice test available

Teachers and administrators are reminded that Smarter Balanced practice tests are available all grade levels from 3 to 8 and at grade 11. These practice tests are an excellent way for teachers to preview what to expect in spring 2015, for students to get practice in online testing and for parents to begin to understand how the new tests will better assess student achievement and understanding of both content and concepts. Continue reading