Maine DOE Monthly – May 21, 2013

Welcome to the May issue of Maine DOE Monthly.

Commissioner Bowen’s month began with the unveiling of the new Maine School Performance Grading System. In the weeks since, the Commissioner and many on the Maine DOE team have been developing and deploying action steps to facilitate school improvement. Look for a weekly webinar series focused on school improvement strategies to start soon and the Commissioner to convene a task force devoted to expanding access to high quality professional development this summer. In the meantime, the Department is already reaching out to D and F schools to identify needs and opportunities and is just a phone call away to serve as a resource in your own improvement planning.

With the school year coming to a close, the Commissioner is making the final stops on his Promising Practices Tour with visits completed or soon-to-be in Belfast, Biddeford, Canaan, Carmel, Princeton and Skowhegan. In Belfast this week, he’ll take part in the filming of the two more Maine Center for Best Practice videos showcasing success stories from Maine schools working toward learner-centered, proficiency-based education. Check out the 10 videos already released, including two new ones uploaded this month spotlighting effective education in action in RSU 16.

Did you know? You can find data on student assessments, attendance, disciplinary incidents, and much more for your school and all others in the state at Maine DOE’s new data warehouse.

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen explains A-F school report cards with Governor Paul R. LePage while students look on during press conference at the Maine State Library.
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen explains A-F school report cards with Governor Paul R. LePage during press conference at the Maine State Library.

Dispatches & Press Releases

Governor, Education Commissioner release report cards for Maine schools

AUGUSTA – With the release today of report cards for each of the state’s schools, the Department of Education has provided Mainers with a better understanding of where their schools stand, and how they can improve. | More

Bowen announces school improvement supports for struggling schools

AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced plans today for providing supports to low-performing schools. The plans are the next step following last week’s release of a new letter grading system for Maine schools. | More

New Center for Best Practice videos feature RSU 16

The Maine Center for Best Practice announces the posting of two new videos of Maine schools working toward learner-centered, proficiency-based education. Both schools are from Regional School Unit 16. | More

Maine Charter Commission approves contracts with three new charter schools

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission in a public meeting held Tuesday in Augusta discussed, voted and signed three public charter school contracts: Baxter Academy for Technology and Sciences in Portland; Fiddlehead School of Arts and Science in Gray; and Harpswell Coastal Academy in Harpswell. | More

State of Maine grants schools more flexibility in choosing technology

AUGUSTA – Thousands of Maine students will be firing up Hewlett Packard laptop computers next school year. On Friday, the Maine Department of Education announced HP as its preferred contractor in the Maine Learning Technology Initiative’s latest bid process. | More

Contribute to SBAC by joining Maine’s State Network of Educators

Maine, a member of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, is seeking educators who have significant experience in formative assessment and deep knowledge of the Common Core State Standards to join Maine’s State Network of Educators. | More

Bowen praises improvement efforts at Indian Township and Caravel Middle Schools

CARMEL – Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen commended regional sharing of resources as well as professional development efforts at Indian Township School in Princeton and Caravel Middle School (RSU 87/MSAD 23) in Carmel, which he visited Thursday and Friday as part of his Promising Practices Tour. | More

Hands-on learning a success in Oxford County

I had the chance visit three Oxford County schools as part of my Promising Practices Tour, just a day after releasing the new A-F school grading system designed to improve transparency. As a state, we need to move beyond the one-size-fits-all models of teaching and embrace student-centered models like the ones many Maine schools, such as the ones I visited in Oxford County, are doing. By Stephen Bowen | More | Press release


Press Releases
From the Commissioner

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