Following the launch of the Maine School Performance Grading System, we’ve spent our time reaching out to underperforming and at-risk schools to learn more about their challenges and the supports they’d like Maine DOE to provide.
What we continue to hear is that schools want to learn from other Maine schools that are like them. In the words of one school leader, “Tell us what’s working in other places with similar populations and budget concerns.” That’s the thinking behind our Center for Best Practice, which provides success stories (and videos) from schools in our state implementing learner-centered instructional practices. Continue reading
Last week I had the privilege of attending the 21st Annual Model Schools Conference down in Washington, D.C. Put on by the International Center for Leadership in Education, this year’s conference provided teachers and educational leaders, including many from Maine, with practical ideas for increasing student achievement and ensuring college and career readiness in an age of declining resources and higher standards.
As many of you know, since LD 1858, “An Act To Ensure Effective Teaching and School Leadership,” was enacted in April 2012, the Department has been working to establish rules to guide you in your local development of the now required teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.
It is with great frustration that I report to you that while the 125th Legislature unanimously supported this initiative to implement a fair, meaningful educator evaluation system, legislators this session have failed to reach consensus – specifically around fulfilling the law’s directive that measurements of student learning and growth be a significant factor in the determination of the rating of an educator. As a result, the Department will need to start the process of adopting Chapter 180 over again in the fall in order to submit a provisionally adopted rule to the Legislature in January 2014. Continue reading
Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Agenda, Assessment, ESEA, From the Commissioner, Instruction, Legislation, News & Views, School Improvement, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Tagged Commissioner Stephen Bowen, Educator effectiveness, Educator evaluations Maine, Educator Professional Development, effective teaching and school leadership Maine, ESEA waiver Maine, Maine school accountability, Maine School Improvement, teacher evaluation systems
After months of deliberations, the biennial budget has been enacted following the 126th Legislature’s override of Governor LePage’s veto yesterday afternoon. Based on this enactment, updated school subsidy printouts (ED279s) are now available at: www.maine.gov/doe/eps/.
Some key factors in enacted funding level to note: Continue reading
Congratulations on completing another successful school year.
I was honored to spend much of the past week connecting with many of Maine’s education leaders at the 102nd Annual Superintendent’s Conference in Northport. For those who attended, I hope the transformational leadership development combined with the transitional support to help your schools move to a proficiency-based diploma energized you as much as it did me. Just as our potential to graduate every student prepared is great, so are the stakes – as was made quite evident by the CEOs who spoke during Sunday’s session about the core competencies the opportunities of Maine’s future will demand.
School may be already out, but the Legislature isn’t just yet.
Last week, the Appropriations Committee cut $18.4 million in targeted funding Maine DOE and the Governor had proposed in the next biennial budget that would have supported improvement and innovation in our schools. Included in those cuts was $3 million specifically for school improvement, funding which several districts have already expressed an interest in receiving.
We continue to get positive feedback on the Data Warehouse we unveiled last month in conjunction with the Maine School Performance Grading System. Educators and administrators like having multiple years of their key data – including individual student growth models – in once place, and that they can export it to use and share. The also appreciate the ability to run comparisons of like schools and districts to determine best practices and opportunities for collaboration.
The opt-in deadline for the next generation of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative is just two days away and we know many of you have already made your solution selections, or are finalizing that choice. That said, we’re committed to bringing you the latest updates related to MLTI and the various solutions as they happen to inform your decision-making.
To that end, yesterday at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (commonly known as WWDC), the company released its new MacBook Air. Continue reading
Recently, the Business Roundtable – a group of more than 200 chief executives from across the country – wrote in support of the continued implementation of Common Core State Standards. These leaders are the latest to come forward from the education and business communities to advocate for these higher standards that will position students to be successful after high school, and economies like Maine’s to benefit from that. Continue reading
Today marks the launch of Maine DOE’s new School Improvement Webinar Series. It’s one of the many resources we’re making available to support the school improvement work initiated by our Maine School Performance Grading System.
Posted in Accountability, Administrators, Common Core, From the Commissioner, Next Gen Science Standards, Professional Development, Standards, Teaching & Learning
Tagged Commissioner Stephen Bowen, Education reform, Learner-centered education, Maine Department of Education, Maine Superintendent's Conference, School improvement, Transformational Leadership