With the holidays approaching, now is the time to thank all of our teachers and school/district leaders for the work you do each day to meet the needs of all Maine students. It is also the time to share with all of you our vision for how the Maine DOE can better support your important work. Continue reading
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Center for Best Practice, Continuous Learning, Educator Effectiveness, From the Commissioner, Listening Tour, News & Views, Proficiency-Based Diploma, School Improvement, Standards, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Students Adie Hughes and Chase Hathorn from the Weatherbee School in Hampden present their teacher, Susan Carpenter O’Brien, a semi-finalist for the 2014 Teacher of the Year, at a banquet in Portland last Friday as Acting Education Commissioner Jim Rier looks on.
Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the annual Teacher of the Year banquet, hosted at Unum’s Portland campus.
It was exciting to see the education and business communities come together to celebrate these champions for children. As Acting Education Commissioner, I hope to facilitate us working together more to ensure we are best serving our students and our great State. Continue reading
Posted in Accountability, Center for Best Practice, Educator Effectiveness, Elementary School, From the Commissioner, High School, Instruction, Middle School, School Improvement, Teachers, Teaching & Learning
Tagged Maine Teacher of the Year
There has recently been widespread national media coverage about the rush for test-takers to complete their GED before a new version of the high school equivalency exam is released in January and their previous scores are deleted.
That news has made some Mainers nervous, but they shouldn’t be.
In August, the Department announced that we’d secured federal flexibility for Maine schools in the form of a two-year waiver from some provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
At the heart of Maine’s approved plan is a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support for Maine’s 380 Title I-served schools. Schools are placed, based on student proficiency and progress, in one of five categories: priority, focus, monitor, progressing and meeting.
Improving educator effectiveness is the single most important action we can take for our students. Study after study shows that students who are assigned to effective teachers and school leaders make noticeably more academic progress than those who are not.
Last week, we released the statewide results from the 2012-13 Maine High School Assessment (MHSA).
The good news? Proficiency in math and reading is on the rise again in our high schools, suggesting students are better prepared for success in college and their careers.
Posted in Administrators, Assessment, English Language Arts, From the Commissioner, High School, Instruction, Mathematics, School Improvement, Science & Technology, Students, Teachers
In the spring of 2018, the students now in eighth grade will become the state’s first class to graduate having demonstrated their mastery of all State standards in the eight content areas of the Maine Learning Results.
Posted in Academics, Administrators, Center for Best Practice, Common Core, Families, From the Commissioner, Instruction, Professional Development, Proficiency-Based Diploma, Standards, Students, Teachers
In 2012, the Maine Legislature passed into law LD 1422, An Act to Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy (Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 4722-A). The cornerstone of this law was the requirement that Maine transition to a proficiency-based system in which graduation from a Maine high school after Jan. 1, 2018 would be based on students demonstrating proficiency in meeting Maine’s learning standards in all eight content areas and their guiding principles. Maine DOE was charged with assisting school administrative units (SAUs) with this transition by developing standards-based system tools and by providing technical assistance and targeted funding. Continue reading
Posted in Academics, Accountability, Administrators, Agenda, Center for Best Practice, Elementary School, From the Commissioner, Funding, Governor LePage, High School, Legislation, Middle School, News & Views, Operations, Proficiency-Based Diploma, School Improvement, Standards, Students, Teaching & Learning
Tagged LD 1422 Maine, Maine Department of Education, Proficiency-based education Maine, Standards-based diploma
Governor LePage named Jim Rier Acting Commissioner of the Maine DOE.
Earlier this week, Governor Paul R. LePage appointed me as Acting Education Commissioner. It is an honor to be called upon to serve the people of Maine in this new role, especially our students and educators. While the Department’s Commissioner has changed, our commitments have not.
I look forward to working with the Governor and the talented team at Maine DOE to continue the work begun under former Commissioner Bowen to transform our education system so that it truly serves all Maine students and prepares them for success after they leave our schools. Central to that is the Department focusing on supporting schools in their improvement efforts, and I will be in touch later this month with more specifics on what Maine DOE’s system of supports will look like and how it will help you.
Last fall, former Commissioner Stephen Bowen sent you a letter on the topic of superintendents’ agreements. In that letter, he explained why he has tended to overturn the superintendent transfer decisions that are appealed to him by Maine families more often than not, in the hope that it would make his thinking on the issue clearer to you.
Since then, the issue of superintendents’ agreements has emerged again, and two bills were passed during this last legislative session that amend the current law in important ways, effective Oct. 9. Continue reading
Posted in Administrators, Elementary School, Families, From the Commissioner, Health, High School, Middle School, News & Views, Safety, School Choice, Students
Tagged Maine Department of Education, Maine superintendents' agreements, School choice Maine