Maine DOE Monthly – November 26, 2013

Welcome to the November issue of the Maine DOE Monthly.

Our Department is committed to supporting Maine schools. This month, we rolled out our plan for doing it better, with an improved and well-informed focused system of supports.

One of the most meaningful ways to supports schools and students is by ensuring an effective educator in every classroom and an effective school leader in every building. This month, Maine DOE held a public hearing on a new rule to implement the teacher and principal effectiveness law enacted in 2012 and surveyed district leaders about their local efforts to implement Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth systems as required under that law to better inform us as we help school administrative units advance this work.  We also took time to celebrate Maine’s many effective and engaging educators at the 2014 Teacher of the Year banquet at Unum in Portland. This Thanksgiving and throughout the year, we give our thanks to the incredible teachers recognized at that event and to all those who work to put students first in Maine schools each day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us the Maine DOE.

2014 TOY Karen MacDonald and students
Earlier this month, Acting Commissioner Jim Rier and King Middle School students Joy Mugaju and Divine Ingabire helped honor Karen MacDonald as the 2014 Teacher of the Year. | More

Dispatches & Press Releases

Maine DOE shares new system of supports

With the holidays approaching, now is the time to thank all of our teachers and school/district leaders for the work you do each day to meet the needs of all Maine students. It is also the time to share with all of you our vision for how the Maine DOE can better support your important work. | More

Record number of Mainers earning high school credential

AUGUSTA – A record high number of Mainers have earned their high school equivalency credential this year in advance of the State moving to a new exam provider starting in 2014. Already in the first 10 months of 2013, 2,699 Mainers have successful completed their GED®, a significant increase over the 1,878 who did so in 2012 and the 2,258 who did so in 2011. | More

Acting Commissioner Rier extends thanks to great teachers and leaders

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the annual Teacher of the Year banquet, hosted at Unum’s Portland campus. It was exciting to see the education and business communities come together to celebrate these champions for children. | More

Acting Commissioner Rier applauds strong start of charter schools

AUGUSTA – The State’s Acting Education Commissioner is applauding the state’s first two public charters after their inaugural monitoring reports show the central Maine schools are engaging students and adapting quickly to meet emerging needs. | More

Hour of Code comes to Maine schools

More than 5,000 Maine students from 16 schools will join a national campaign to demystify computer science during the Hour of Code campaign in December – and additional schools may register through Nov. 15. The event is scheduled to coincide with Computer Science Week from Dec. 9-15, during which Project>Login will also host Maine’s first statewide Hour of Code Dojo. | More

Colleges commit to accepting proficiency-based diploma

A frequently asked question relating to Maine’s move to a proficiency-based diploma by 2018 is “Will colleges and universities accept proficiency-based transcripts?” | More

Literacy for ME reports on first year accomplishments

The Maine DOE’s Literacy for ME initiative recently hosted a Critical Friends meeting to share its accomplishments and offer guidance for ongoing implementation efforts. This meeting marked the first-year implementation anniversary of Literacy for ME, a statewide initiative intended to bolster literacy learning opportunities across the birth to adult span. Literacy for ME includes a State literacy plan that promotes state-level literacy education efforts as well as the development of community-based literacy teams. | More

Nominations open for nation’s top science and math teaching award

Nominations are now open for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) 2013-14 competition, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The PAEMST are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. | More

Maine students invited to enter Verizon STEM Challenge

Maine middle and high school students can compete to win $20,000 for their school and the latest Samsung tablet as part of an innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) challenge from Verizon. | More

Governor LePage’s trade mission to Columbia promotes Maine Schools

AUGUSTA — Representatives from two Maine high schools and one university met with Colombian parents and students on Thursday night as the State of Maine trade mission, led by Governor Paul R. LePage, continued in Bogota, Colombia. | More

Maine DOE’s Jeff Mao honored for technology Leadership

Jeff Mao, the Maine DOE’s learning technology policy director, was recently named leader of the year at the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Leadership Summit banquet. | More

Maine STEM Council names first executive director

Dr. Thomas E. Keller has recently been appointed executive director of the Maine STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Council. The council was established by the Legislature in 2011 to “develop strategies for enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education from prekindergarten through postsecondary education. | More


Press Releases
From the Commissioner

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