Commissioner’s Update – June 6, 2013

From the Commissioner

Today marks the launch of Maine DOE’s new School Improvement Webinar Series. It’s one of the many resources we’re making available to support the school improvement work initiated by our Maine School Performance Grading System.

We hope you’ll join us on our four free webinars already scheduled this month. They’ll focus on topics including the characteristics of highly effective schools; using data from our data warehouse and Measured Progress to inform planning for the 2013-2014 school year; and strategies for schools with low income populations to be high performing.

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Fifth grade teacher Mike Louder provides one-on-one reading instruction to Austin Taylor at Canaan Elementary.Fifth grade teacher Mike Louder provides one-on-one reading instruction to Austin Taylor at Canaan Elementary. | More

News & Views

Education Department supports schools with new improvement webinar series

AUGUSTA – As educators look to better support student success following the release of the state’s new letter grades, the Maine Department of Education is offering a series of school improvement webinars. | More

Estimating MLTI next generation costs

Last week we reached out to you as part of our continued commitment to communicating the latest updates of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative next generation deployment. We’d hoped that Priority Notice would provide the clarity you needed to inform your district decision-making during this busy budgeting time. By Stephen Bowen | More

Biddeford and MSAD 54 bring coaches to the classroom

Last week I visited Biddeford Middle School as well as elementary schools in MSAD 54, where administrators and teachers are taking hands-on, customized learning to the next level with math labs, academic coaches and workshop-model classrooms. By Stephen Bowen | More

Smarter Balanced practice tests now available

Teachers interested in an interactive look at the Smarter Balanced assessment can now take a practice test. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) made practice tests available starting last week for teachers, students, parents and the public in advance of the test’s full deployment in Maine schools starting in 2015. | More

Business leaders support Common Core standards

Recently, the Business Roundtable – a group of more than 200 chief executives from across the country – wrote in support of the continued implementation of Common Core State Standards. These leaders are the latest to come forward from the education and business communities to advocate for these higher standards that will position students to be successful after high school, and economies like Maine’s to benefit from that. By Stephen Bowen | More

Governor LePage, First Lady ask Legislature to support military service exploration for Maine students

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage and First Lady Ann M. LePage are calling on the Maine Legislature to vote not as divided Republicans and Democrats but as united Americans on two bills that ensure the state’s students have opportunity to explore military service. | More

STEM contest open to Maine students

For the third consecutive year, S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc. will hold a fall contest for schools throughout the company’s service areas to promote science and engineering educational programs. | More

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