Category Archives: Common Core

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

Governor LePage signs Executive Order protecting local control, student privacy

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage signed an executive order today affirming Maine’s commitment to protecting local education control and student privacy rights.

The Governor’s action prohibiting the influence of the federal government into Maine’s education policy comes after parents and educators have raised concerns about the Obama Administration’s attempts to hijack successful state-led education reforms, including more rigorous, relevant standards in mathematics and English language arts Maine voluntarily adopted in common with other states in 2011. Continue reading

New tools help teachers navigate ELA standards

New implementation resources focused on central elements of the new English language arts and literacy standards are now available to Maine educators.

They include a new set of online tools to guide teachers in analyzing texts for complexity and using them in instructional units. These resources, developed by a dozen states including Maine in collaboration with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Achieve the Core, include text complexity roadmaps, model text sets for instruction, tools for analyzing texts, recommended text-dependent questions and sample lesson videos.

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