Commissioner’s Update – August 9, 2012

Commissioner's Update - August 9, 2012
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At the Department this summer we’ve been implementing elements of the five core priorities in our strategic plan.

Our Center for Best Practices web pages went live this week, providing a platform for sharing best practices for learner-centered instruction from three districts and some of the lessons they learned along the way. We invite other schools in Maine to review these case studies, videos, and resources and explore innovative ideas they may wish to adopt and adapt. And we’ll be adding more case studies in the future.

Now we – and four working groups made up of teachers, principals, superintendents and others – are hard at work fine-tuning Maine’s application for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver as the September 6 deadline draws nearer. The new school accountability and improvement system we’re developing will be thoughtful, fair and constructive—helping all students and schools succeed by considering multiple valid measures to determine performance.

In the coming days, watch for notices about public forums and early drafts of our proposal for ESEA flexibility. We want to hear your feedback as we enter the final stages of applying for this waiver.

— Stephen Bowen


Administrative Letters

  • No new administrative letters this week.

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Please note: We generally provide notice of requirements only once. Please check the Reporting Calendar (link below) regularly for a list of ALL upcoming items.

Reporting Calendar


Educators create rubrics, learn to rate teaching effectiveness

A handful of teachers and administrators from TIF MSFE districts around the state are undergoing training to use teaching evaluation rubrics to accurately rate instructional effectiveness. During a two-day summer institute, attendees observe videos of educators in the classroom and evaluate the teaching practices based on rubrics the districts built themselves. | More

Student-produced video a finalist in film festival

VIDEO: Nancy Nickerson’s fourth grade students at South Elementary School in Rockland were recently recognized as finalists for their short film at the 35th annual Maine Student Film and Video Festival in Waterville. | More

Youth Health Survey dates announced for 2013

Next year’s Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS) will be administered February 4 and 15, 2013. The goal of this survey is to better understand risk behaviors specific to Maine youth and use these data to inform prevention intervention that affect the success of Maine youth in attaining the Maine Learning Results. | More

Sign up for MaineCare in education e-newsletter

In coordination with the Department of Education, MaineCare Services has developed a listserve specific to MaineCare-covered services that are provided in an educational setting. | More

John Bapst tops in “challenge index”

John Bapst High School in Bangor was recently ranked first in northern New England for the percentage of students taking college level courses. | More


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