Category Archives: News & Views

National Assessment Governing Board accepting nominations in mid-August

The National Assessment Governing Board will be issuing a call for nominations in mid-August; information will be available on their website at www.nagb.org at that time. For this new nominations cycle, web-based information will be presented via a microsite, accessible from the NAGB home page. The microsite will include information and videos about the Board, the nominations process and why people should consider submitting a nomination. Nominations are due on Oct. 31.

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Update of Maine Schools form to be filed electronically for 2014-15

This school year the Maine DOE will be requiring all superintendents and private school administrators to file the Update of Maine Schools form electronically through NEO, the Department’s new data management system. In the past, information about Maine schools such as physical address, phone numbers, and grade levels were distributed and collected through a paper process.

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Maine’s County Teachers of the Year one step closer

Maine’s County Teachers of the Year have been hard at work this summer. They have now completed their oral presentations and are one step closer to becoming Maine’s State Teacher of the Year. These 16 teachers, representing every area of our state, have developed a platform that keep students at the center of their work advocating for teachers, students, and quality education in Maine.

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Maine Department of Labor proposes rule changes to assist CTE students

The following release was originally published by the Maine Department of Labor on July 29, 2014.  

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Labor announced in a news release proposed changes to rules surrounding job training programs for minors. The purpose of the proposed change is to allow students enrolled in approved Career and Technical educational programs to train on specific equipment, located at a business that is necessary for their course of study.

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Maine DOE Monthly – July 29, 2014

Welcome to the July issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

This past month the Department continued to provide valuable resources, support and practical tools to help transition Maine schools to awarding proficiency-based diplomas to ensure the next generation’s success in the workplace, college and beyond. On July 22, the Department shared with superintendents the six extension application forms posted on the Department’s Getting to Proficiency web pages as well as a confirmation of readiness form for school districts to provide evidence of preparedness. The Department is also grateful to Bangor, Cape Elizabeth and South Portland high schools for piloting the extension application process for Maine school administrative units to follow. These examples confirm the great volume of work and thoughtful planning occurring in Maine schools in support of students’ learning.

On July 17, the Maine DOE together with the Maine Department of Labor and the State Workforce Investment Board were pleased to announce a federal grant in the amount of $819,433 had been awarded for meeting workforce system and adult education performance goals. In addition to this support, Governor LePage announced early in the month that the Department will be distributing $11.3 million over the next five years to support extended learning opportunities for at-risk students.

As always, read on for a roundup of other recent updates from the Department, and stay tuned to our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates (publishing biweekly during the summer months) for the latest news you can use from the Maine DOE.


Dispatches & Press Releases

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. | More

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. | More

CDS staff completes routines-based interview training

The Child Development Services team is pleased to announce that as of June 30, the Part C staff at all 9 regional CDS sites has completed the Routines-Based Interview (RBI) training. | More

Commissioner’s Conference focuses on Proficiency-Based Diplomas and Educator Effectiveness

In closing comments of the Annual Commissioner’s Conference for Superintendents, Education Commissioner Jim Rier applauded attendees for their attention and participation in the event. that was designed to provide superintendents and other district administrators with guidance, technical assistance and practical tools to use in implementing recently-passed legislation. | More

Maine DOE releases results from proficiency-based Readiness Inventory

The Maine DOE has released results from the proficiency-based diploma Readiness Inventory, a tool designed to help school districts better understand their progress toward proficiency and to help determine which of the six extension options is best for them to pursue. | More

New resource for performance evaluation and professional growth systems

Following enactment of the Maine Educator Effectiveness law in 2012, the Maine DOE worked for over a year to finalize the rules that govern the development and implementation of performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) systems for teachers and principals. | More

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Dispatches
Press Releases
From the Commissioner

Proficiency-based diploma extension applications now available to SAUs

The following Priority Notice was distributed to superintendents Tuesday, July 22.

Dear Superintendents,

Discussions at the Commissioners Conference in June yielded valuable input for the diploma extensions application process. In the weeks following the conference, three school administrative units in Maine agreed to pilot the application process by completing the extension request best suited to their level of preparedness to award a proficiency-based diploma.

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Maine Charter School Commission welcomes new leadership

For Immediate Release from the Maine Charter School Commission Thursday, July 17.

Contact: Bob Kautz, Executive Director, (207) 592-8352

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) has new leadership, having elected Shelley Reed as chair and Ande Smith as vice-chair.

Reed, of Wayne, had previously served as vice-chair and replaces outgoing chair Jana Lapoint, who has served as Chair for two terms and will remain on the Board. Ms. Reed has served on the Maine Charter School Commission since its inception in 2011. Currently, she is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine.

Reed has long been active in public education, having served as the State Homeless Education Coordinator, School Counselor Consultant, and Truancy, Dropout Alternative Education Consultant in the Maine Department of Education for 10 years, retiring in 2011. Previous work in education included 16 years of service as an elementary school counselor in Lewiston and 13 years as a grade 1 and 2 teacher in Auburn. Reed has a Master’s in Counselor Education from the University of Southern Maine and a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Maine, Farmington.

Smith is a resident of North Yarmouth with his school-age children. He graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BS degree in Nuclear Engineering, the University of Connecticut with a Masters of Public Affairs, and the University Of Maine School Of Law with his Juris Doctor. He is President of Deer Brook Associates, a privately held firm providing legal and consulting services principally in information security, technology, and privacy. Having earned his submarine warfare qualifications, Smith also holds the rank of Captain in the US Navy Reserve, where he commands a Pentagon-based undersea warfare unit and is the director of the Reserve component’s undersea warfare operations program for the US submarine force.

Both Reed and Smith were elected to one-year positions that began July 1 and are eligible for re-election after serving their terms.

The Maine Charter School Commission is one of two types of entities permitted to authorize public charter schools in Maine. The Commission can authorize up to 10 public charter schools throughout the state during the first 10 years of Maine’s charter school law.

As of this September, there will be 6 public charter schools in Maine serving over 700 students. These schools are the Baxter Academy for Technology and Sciences in Portland, the Cornville Regional Charter School in Cornville, the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Science in Gray, the Harpswell Coastal Academy in Harpswell, the Maine Connections Academy, a state-wide virtual school in South Portland, and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley.

The Maine Charter School Commission is an independent state agency. The Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Maine State Board of Education. Three of the seven are members of the State Board. The remaining four members are required by law to come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds.

For more information, visit the Maine Charter School Commission.

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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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