Tag Archives: Maine Department of Education

New schools proposed to Charter Commission

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission (MCSC) has received applications from four groups interested in opening public charter schools in the fall of 2014.

Those submitting applications by the Dec. 2 deadline to join Maine’s five existing public charter schools included Lewiston-Auburn Academy Charter School, Lewiston; Maine Connections Academy; Maine Virtual Academy; and Many Hands Montessori School, Windham. Continue reading

Record number of Mainers earning high school credential

As Maine moves to a new high school equivalency exam, thousands looking to advance their career and post-secondary aspirations are completing the current GED® this year though doing so before 2014 is not required

AUGUSTA – A record high number of Mainers have earned their high school equivalency credential this year in advance of the State moving to a new exam provider starting in 2014.

Already in the first 10 months of 2013, 2,699 Mainers have successful completed their GED®, a significant increase over the 1,878 who did so in 2012 and the 2,258 who did so in 2011. Continue reading

Survey on educator evaluation implementation

Dear Superintendents,

I am pleased to introduce myself as the Educator Effectiveness Coordinator for the Maine Department of Education. In my first two weeks with the Department, I have gained a broad sense of the status of performance evaluation and professional growth (PE/PG) systems implementation among school administrative units (SAUs) across the state.  I am now seeking to refine my understanding and at the same time develop a mutually-valuable, continuous source of data, information and resources for you. Continue reading

DOE, UMaine launch autism resource, research institute

AUGUSTA – Mainers who serve children with autism and their families will soon have a statewide system of supports.

The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER), a partnership of the Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development, will open on Jan. 1 at the UMaine campus. The two organizations have committed to contribute a total of $288,000 to fund the first 18 months of the new collaborative. Continue reading

Maine students show improved proficiency in math, reading

Performance of third-year high school students increased in math and reading, but students showed concerning slippage in the content areas tested for which schools are not held accountable for achievement results

AUGUSTA – Proficiency in math and reading is on the rise again in Maine high schools according to the scores just in from last May’s SAT, suggesting students are better prepared for success in college and their careers.

Most notable was the nearly 2 percent increase in the number of tested students who achieved proficiency or above in critical reading, up from 47.2 percent in 2011-12 to 48.9 percent in 2012-13, with 8.6 percent of those students exceeding proficiency standards. Continue reading

Mainers finalists for top teaching award in math, science

GARDINER – Department of Education Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome announced today that four of Maine’s top teachers are finalists for the nation’s highest honor for mathematics and science educators.

Tome was joined Friday by Anita Bernhardt, Maine DOE’s standards and assessment coordinator, and Michele Mailhot, the Department’s mathematics specialist, in congratulating the state’s finalists for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching during a ceremony at the Maine Science Teachers Association conference in Gardiner. Continue reading

Resources available for transition to proficiency-based diploma

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

Transfer decisions refocused on student best interest

AUGUSTA – Starting today, superintendents who reject a parent’s request to send their child to school in another district will have to explain why that transfer would not be in the best interest of the student.

Under Maine law, a parent who believes it is in the best interest of their child to attend school in a different district than where the student lives can request the two superintendents agree to a transfer. Continue reading

Governor LePage appoints Acting Education Commissioner

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has appointed Jim Rier as Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, effective immediately.

Rier, a native of Machias who now lives in Topsham, has been at Maine DOE for a decade, first as Director of Finance and Operations and most recently as Deputy Commissioner since 2011. Continue reading

Message to administrators on superintendents’ agreements

Dear Superintendents,

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