We know many readers look forward to our weekly Commissioner’s Update, specifically for the column from Commissioner Jim Rier, whose insight on education has come from nearly two decades in Augusta, first as a member of the State Board of Education and since 2003 here at the Department.
Career and technical education (CTE) plays a critical role in strengthening the college and career readiness of our students and the economic future of our state. Continue reading
Earlier this year, the Department released six options by which districts could apply for extensions to fully implementing systems to support the awarding of proficiency-based diplomas starting in 2018.
I continue to be appreciative of the positive feedback we regularly receive in response to offering that flexibility. Many educators and district leaders have commented that while they had initially been uncertain about the extension application process, it ended up being a valuable opportunity for reflection that helped focus local efforts moving forward to best ensure quality implementation.
But nothing has been more encouraging than seeing the high number of extension applications and confirmations of readiness that the Department received by the Oct. 18 final deadline. Continue reading
The following Priority Notice was distributed on Tuesday, Oct. 28 regarding Maine’s plans for a successful administration of the 2014-15 State assessment.
Dear Maine Educators, Students and Families,
This October marks the first in recent memory during which Maine students in Grades 3-8 are not taking their State assessment. Instead, next spring students in those grades or in their third year of high school will take the Smarter Balanced aligned assessment that Maine will now use for State and federal accountability purposes. Continue reading
Last week, some Maine educators traveled to Dallas, Texas to participate in an assessment conference. Given the national attention currently on that city because of the three confirmed cases of Ebola there, some have raised concerns in the districts these educators are returning to.
The following reminder was sent via Priority Notice to all Maine superintendents on Friday, Oct. 17.
I am writing to remind you to please complete two surveys that will greatly inform the work of the Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula, established by the Maine Legislature earlier this year.
In partnership with the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI), the Department is compiling information for the Commission about the current use of instructional coaches and the physical space, facility capacity and operations of districts as it relates to existing and expanding preschool programs. Because the Commission begins meeting this coming Monday, I encourage you to submit your responses today, though surveys completed after this deadline will be provided to the Commission for consideration at its future meetings. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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.
The following Priority Notice requesting participation in a survey on the use of instructional coaches was distributed to all Maine superintendents on Wednesday, Oct. 8.
As you know, the Maine DOE is committed to ensuring that every learner has the opportunity to be successful. Part of that is ensuring our schools have the resources they need to best support all of their students, including those who are economically disadvantaged. Continue reading