Ensuring an effective educator in every Maine classroom

Improving educator effectiveness is the single most important action we can take for our students. Study after study shows that students who are assigned to effective teachers and school leaders make noticeably more academic progress than those who are not.

Knowing this, Maine DOE is committed to supporting our state’s school administrative units (SAUs) to ensure there is an effective educator in every single classroom. Earlier this month we named longtime English teacher Mary Paine as our first-ever Educator Effectiveness Coordinator. As a first step in her efforts to coordinate resources and opportunities for schools, she has developed a survey for superintendents that will help to establish the basis for the Department’s work in assisting all SAUs in the implementation of successful and meaningful Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth systems as required under Maine law.

Since we sent this survey to superintendents last week, we’ve already received nearly 70 responses that will help the Maine DOE tailor our educator effectiveness work to the needs of teachers, principals and students. Additionally, in order to facilitate partnerships and opportunities for collaboration among SAUs, next month we will compile the survey data and share with you the results – including through our weekly Commissioner’s Update. To those who have already completed the survey, we thank you. And to those who have not, we encourage you to please do so before Nov. 8 and to be as specific as possible in providing details and asking questions.

Also this month, the Department proposed a new rule to implement the teacher and principal effectiveness law enacted in 2012. The proposed rule is Chapter 180, “Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems,” and establishes standards and procedures for implementation of performance evaluation and professional growth systems (PE/PG systems) for teachers and principals. Legislation enacted in 2012 requires each SAU to develop, pilot and implement PE/PG systems over a period of three years, with full implementation of the systems no later than the 2015-16 school year. The purpose of a PE/PG system is to improve educator effectiveness by clearly setting forth expectations for professional practice and student learning and growth, and providing actionable feedback and support to help educators meet those expectations.

The proposed rule is available online, and more details about the rulemaking process and how to participate – either through the public hearing or by submitting written comment – are available here in our newsroom.

We appreciate your engagement in this important work to enhance educator effectiveness in Maine. Our Department looks forward to continuing to help support efforts that will improve professional practice and student outcomes as a result.

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