Category Archives: Press Releases

Press releases from before January 1, 2010, are in the archive.

Cape Elizabeth teacher named Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year

Talya Edlund was selected from over 300 nominees as Maine’s top teacher

2016-toyCAPE ELIZABETH – Today in a surprise assembly at Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Education Rachelle Tome announced Talya Edlund had been selected as the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Continue reading

Two schools from Maine win National Blue Ribbon recognition

Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York and Minot Consolidated School in RSU 16 were among 335 public and private schools across the country named 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan today.

Continue reading

Learning that is accessible, free and takes students into the future

The Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine at Fort Kent have announced a first-of-a-kind partnership to expand the number of options Maine students have to earn college credit while still in high school. This partnership was celebrated Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the State House where Governor LePage hosted Acting Deputy Commissioner Rachelle Tome, Program Specialist Abby Manahan, Retired UMFK President Wilson Hess, and UMFK’s Scott Voisine, Dean of Community Education. Maine DOE’s Acting Commissioner Tom Desjardin was also able to join for the event.

Continue reading

Grants awarded in adult education

AUGUSTA – Making close to 500 adult students hirable is the focus of $319,000 Integrated Education and Training Pilot Grant that will be evenly split between five adult education programs spanning from Androscoggin County to Hancock and Aroostook Counties.

Continue reading

Standardized Assessment Scores for 2014-15

AUGUSTA – As Maine shifts to a proficiency-based system by 2018, the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced Assessment scores in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3 through 8 and the third year of high school are the first statewide assessment of our students’ accomplishments in meeting Maine’s college and career readiness standards. These results are reflective of a more rigorous assessment as the world is changing rapidly, and Maine is poised to improve in this educational shift to better prepare our students for future success.

Continue reading

2016 Teacher of the Year State Finalists Selected

The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with Educate Maine, recently named three teachers as state finalists for Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. They were chosen from this year’s 16 County Teachers of the Year who were named in May at a celebration at the State House Hall of Flags.

Continue reading

Maine Department of Education awarded flexibility from Feds

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education received a three-year waiver allowing flexibility regarding specific requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB), whose reauthorization was recently debated and is being revised in our nation’s capital. While the revised ESEA shrinks the federal role yielding greater power to states to judge student achievement and school performance (from regulations outlined under NCLB), this recent waiver provides Maine educators and State and local leaders the opportunity for continued work toward rigorous and comprehensive State-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity, and improve the quality of instruction.

“In 2013, Maine’s waiver application was approved by USDOE, but this renewal of the waiver required diligent, persistent work on behalf of Maine DOE,” says Acting Commissioner Thomas Desjardin. “We worked relentlessly with Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education and his staff as the federal government had exerted extreme authority over states in the past. The Maine DOE staff worked diligently in securing the original waiver and again in this renewal process in making adjustments addressing USDOE points. In March, Maine lawmakers joined in passing legislation, LD 692, including rule making, to assist our efforts in this waiver renewal request, making this a collaborative effort.”

This waiver, the first three-year waiver ever issued by USDOE, allows Maine to continue on the path with more time for students to learn and educators to teach. ESEA flexibility has and will continue to allow Maine to focus resources on comprehensive, rigorous interventions in the lowest-performing schools, while ensuring that all low-achieving students have the supports they need to catch up to their peers. ESEA flexibility also has an effect of energizing teacher and principal effectiveness work across Maine and puts the focus on creating feedback systems that show the impact teachers and principals are having on student learning and shine a light on best practices to support teachers’ development.

At the heart of the State’s continued efforts is a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support for Maine’s Title I-served schools, distinguished not just by student proficiency but also progress. As a result, Maine’s mission is to cut in half the percentage of non-proficient students at each school in the coming years. This is done through the continued implementation of the Maine Learning Results, a set of high standards geared to help Maine students be career and college ready.

For more information contact: Acting Commissioner, 624-6620, or Director of Communications, 624-6747, 592-4439.


State Board of Education elects new leadership

AUGUSTA – The Maine State Board of Education has new leadership, having elected Martha J. Harris as chair and Alan R. Burton as vice-chair. Come September, Ms. Harris will have served on the board for five years having been appointed by Governor Baldacci and one year for Mr. Burton, appointed by Governor Paul R. LePage.

Continue reading

Maine educators expand learning technology skills this week

Connecting the dots, online and blended learning, digital content using widgets, iTunes U Course, digital storytelling, GarageBand, and much more are buzz phrases educators will be hearing about this week at the Maine Department of Education’s MLTI 2015 Summer Institute at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Tuesday the 21st through Thursday the 23rd.

Continue reading

State awards $1.63 million through a grant to help a struggling school

Funding granted from the Maine Department of Education will help transform the Auburn school by increasing student achievement, teacher effectiveness and engaging parent and community support.

AUBURN – Washburn Elementary School in Auburn will use just over $1.63 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding awarded by the Maine Department of Education to focus on raising student proficiency in math by 30 percent and reading by 35 percent over the next five years.

Continue reading