Notice of Title I SIG waiver request

The following message was sent, by email, to all superintendents and NCLB Coordinators on September 15, 2011.

This communication serves as notice that the Maine Department of Education intends to submit an application for a waiver to the U. S. Department of Education for Title I School Improvement Grants (SIG) program authorized by section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA).

This application is being made on behalf of all SAUs receiving Title I School Improvement Grants (SIG) in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and requests a waiver of the requirement in Section I.A.2(d)(1)(i)(B) of the final requirements for the SIG program, which requires SAUs to develop and implement teacher and principal evaluation systems that meet certain requirements during the first year a school is implementing the transformation model.

Those systems must be rigorous, transparent, and equitable and take into account data on student academic growth as a significant factor as well as other factors, such as multiple observation-based assessments of performance, ongoing collections of information on professional practice reflective of student achievement, and increased high school graduation rates. This waiver would permit the Maine Department of Education, in accordance with criteria Maine develops, to permit an SAU that is implementing the transformation model in one or more schools to take additional time to develop and implement high-quality evaluation systems that meet these requirements.

Comments related to this application and request for waivers should be sent to Rachelle Tome, ESEA Federal Programs Director, at rachelle.tome@maine.gov.  Comments will be accepted through Friday, September 23, 2011.