School report cards set benchmark

It’s been a busy week at Maine DOE as we released the first A-F report cards for each of the state’s schools as part of the new Maine School Performance Grading System. Now that we have a usable and understandable benchmark of where schools are, the real work begins!

The initiative focuses on continuous improvement through transparency, parent engagement and a renewed focus—not just by those of us in the education community but by all Mainers—on making all of our schools better for all of our students. Just as parents lean in when their child receives an F and encourage the good work to continue when they earn an A, we hope to see the same in response to the grades received by schools. We at Maine DOE look forward to the constructive conversations ahead.

Expect to hear more from us in the coming weeks about A-F and the resources we can bring to bear to help expand the many promising practices we see in action already in so many Maine schools. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about A-F grading and visit our new online data center to dig deeper beyond the letter grades.

One thought on “School report cards set benchmark

  1. Unfortunately, it isn’t truly transparent. In Commissioner Bowen’s comments, when unrolled this report card, he defined growth as evidence of a year of progress. Yet, on the report card growth has been defined by the movement from one level to another, or maintaining above proficient level. In other words, based on that definition a student would show growth only if they move from proficient to proficient-with-distinction. The reality is that if a student remains proficient from one year to the next, they are evidencing a year of growth, i.e. proficiency in 4th grade shows you have met the standard for that grade and proficiency in 5th shows you have met the standard in that grade, thus you have shown a whole year of growth. Maintaining a level IS a year of growth, and growth can also occur within a proficiency level as well without necessarily moving up to the next level in that particular year. I believe that his statement at the conference was misleading the public. This reporting model is flawed, along with being inconsistent with the proficiency-based reporting for schools that he has been touting. I think recognition for percentile growth within a level should be what is recognized.

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