Category Archives: News & Views

CDS staff completes routines-based interview training

The Child Development Services team is pleased to announce that, as of June 30th, the Part C staff at all 9 regional CDS sites has completed the Routines-Based Interview (RBI) training and will soon begin putting into practice what they have learned. Within a few months, all CDS Part C staff will have conducted several practice RBI’s with families and have their skills at conducting RBI’s assessed by a state-certified RBI trainer to ensure fidelity and functionality.

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Special rates for Maine teachers at National Council for the Social Studies conference

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) will host the nation’s largest and most comprehensive social studies professional development conference at its 2014 Annual Conference in Boston, November 21-23.

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Maine DOE seeking online panel members to set achievement levels

As a governing state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Maine continues to support the efforts to develop a rigorous assessment system that will become operational in the 2014-15 school year. As part of those efforts, the Maine DOE is seeking qualified educators, administrators, parents and business/community leaders to participate in an online process to recommend cut scores for achievement levels on Smarter Balanced developed assessments.

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Optional high school assessment opportunities in 2014-15

To assist in preparing students for college and career readiness and post-secondary opportunities, the Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce our continued partnership with the College Board to provide high schools the opportunity to offer students the ReadiStep, PSAT, SAT and AccuPLACER as outlined below.
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Governing board for high school equivalency test selected

Educational Testing Service, the provider of the new ETS high school equivalency test program known as HiSET, has partnered with the Maine DOE and other states who administer HiSET to appoint a governing board to help set overall direction for the program.

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Maine awarded $819,433 for meeting workforce system and adult education performance goals

The following release was originally published by the Maine Department of Labor on July 8, 2014.  

AUGUSTA – The Maine Departments of Education and Labor and the State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) have been awarded a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Incentive Grant of $819,433 based on performance in federal Program Year 12 (July 2012 through June 2013).  Only eight states met their objectives and earned such a grant. Maine last qualified for an incentive grant 12 years ago.

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American Institutes for Research selected to administer Smarter Balanced assessments

The following Priority Notice was distributed to educators on Monday, July 7.

Dear Educators,

Earlier this year, the Department made clear our commitment to rigorous standards and aligned assessments. To that end, I wanted to let you know we have just selected the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to administer our Smarter Balanced aligned State assessments in grades 3-8 and grade 11 for the 2014-15 school year.

AIR was chosen through a competitive process and we are confident their selection is best for Maine students and educators. Because they were the vendor that delivered the Smarter Balanced field test that many of your schools participated in this spring, their assessment engine and experience will be familiar to tens of thousands of Maine students and educators when it is first used statewide for State and federal accountability purposes in the spring of 2015.

AIR’s package includes summative and interim assessments for grades 3-8 and grade 11. Additionally, through our one-year contract with them, we will be able to provide high schools the option of utilizing interim and formative assessments for grades 9 and 10, though doing so of course remains entirely a local decision. The optional assessments will be provided at no cost to districts.

As you likely know, since 2007 Maine has used the SAT for State and federal accountability at the high school level and required all third-year students to participate. As the Department has previously communicated, the Smarter Balanced aligned assessment to be administered next year by AIR will replace the SAT as the mandatory grade 11 measure in math, critical reading and writing. That said, we know many high school students and families have appreciated that the State offered a free college readiness exam and it is our intention to again make one available in 2014-15, though certainly taking it would not be mandatory. We are currently exploring the best options for Maine students and schools, and will send out a priority notice as soon as decisions have been made.

We greatly value our relationship with our previous assessment administrator, Measured Progress, which will continue to provide our State science assessment and alternate, as well as our system for accountability reporting to the U.S. Department of Education. And we look forward to developing our new partnership with AIR in the year ahead as together with your help, we implement a fair, accurate and comprehensive assessment system that better provides parents and educators the information they need to help all Maine kids be college and career ready when they leave our schools.

If you have questions about the changes in our assessment program or would like technical assistance, please contact our Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome at rachelle.tome@maine.gov or 207-624-6705 or our Assessment Coordinator Sue Fossett at susan.fossett@maine.gov or 207-624-6775.

Sincerely,

Jim Rier, Commissioner
Maine Department of Education

State Education Board welcomes new leadership

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Board of Education has new leadership, having elected Peter E. Geiger as chair and Martha J. Harris as vice-chair.

Geiger, of Lewiston, had previously served as vice-chair and replaces outgoing chair Nancy Perkins, who will remain on the board. He is the Executive Vice President of Geiger, the largest family-owned promotional products company in the country headquartered in Lewiston and is additionally editor and publisher of the Farmers’ Almanac.

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Maine high school student wins national contest

Noah Binette, a freshman at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine, has won first place for his exhibit about Malaga Island at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day competition recently held at the University of Maryland.

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Maine DOE adopts rules for suicide awareness and prevention

Rule Chapter 38:  Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Maine Public Schools has been finally adopted by the Department of Education and took effect June 29, 2014.

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