Commissioner’s Update – January 23, 2014

From the Maine DOE

I believe that our Department has done more over the last two years than at any other period in our history to ensure there is an effective educator in every classroom and an effective principal in every building.

Earlier this month, we advanced our commitment to supporting great teachers and leaders even further when we provisionally-adopted a new rule to help districts implement the landmark teacher and principal effectiveness law proposed and signed by Governor LePage in 2012. Chapter 180, “Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Systems,” now moves to the Legislature for their consideration and what we hope will be approval to move to final adoption of the rule.

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News & Views

Acting Commissioner Rier to visit Lewiston schools Thursday

LEWISTON – Maine Department of Education Acting Commissioner Jim Rier will tour two Lewiston schools this Thursday that are undertaking significant initiatives to improve student outcomes. | More

Two Maine schools nominated for National Blue Ribbon distinction

The Maine DOE  has nominated Turner Elementary School and Winthrop Grade School to be 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools. | More

Department supports, clarifies MPA evaluation model

A committee of the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) has developed a model for evaluating the professional practice of principals.  The model was designed to meet the requirements of Maine’s educator effectiveness law and the rule implementing that law (which was provisionally-adopted this month). | More

Improving literacy skills with close reading

Whether we are writing full sentences or using text messaging shorthand including abbreviations and icons, our ability to make meaning of the language around us is a critical aspect of our society. The updated Maine Learning Results for English Language Arts and literacy reflect this shift in literacy practices. | More

Guidance from Maine DOE on special education students in crisis placements

School administrative units (SAUs) sometimes become aware that a special education student enrolled in one of their schools has been placed in a residential facility identified as a crisis stabilization unit. | More

Nominations open for CTE Excellence in Action award

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is pleased to announce its first annual Excellence in Action award, which will recognize and honor superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from around the nation. | More

Updates to special education web resources

The Maine DOE has added a new question-and-answer to the “Consent” entry of the Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER) frequently asked questions section of its website. | More

Dyslexia for a Day workshop in Brewer on Feb. 1

Project D.E.B.U.N.K., a resource for youth with dyslexia and their families and educators, is sponsoring a Dyslexia for a Day workshop in Brewer on Feb. 1. | More

Opportunity to participate in accessible assessment project

The Maine DOE has served as a critical partner to the Maryland State Department of Education and Measured Progress Innovation lab for the Guidelines for Accessible Assessment Project (GAAP), a project that involves developing research-based guidelines for representing assessment content in audio and sign forms. | More

Students sought for humanities ambassador program

The Maine Humanities Council (MHC) wants creative and energetic rising 10th or 11th graders interested in community engagement through the humanities. | More

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