Commissioner’s Update – April 10, 2014

From the Maine DOE

Last week, the Maine Education Association (MEA) announced its reservations about the updated math and ELA standards that were incorporated into the Maine Learning Results back in 2011 and have been being implemented in Maine schools since. They also called for a moratorium on the next generation of assessments aligned to those standards, developed in collaboration with Maine teachers and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, of which Maine is currently a governing member.

In the days since, I’ve been asked for my reaction to that organization’s position. Especially in light of the commitment so many of you have made these past three years to supporting local implementation of standards and assessment, I want to make clear where the Maine DOE stands so you have the certainty you deserve.

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Maine high school graduation rates continue to climb

AUGUSTA – Maine’s high school graduation rate continues to climb with 86.36 percent of all students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2009 earning their diplomas on time in 2013, but State education officials stress that proficiency must be the top priority. | More

Maine chosen for rural dropout prevention project

Maine has been selected as one of 15 states to work with the US Department of Education and the National Dropout Prevention Network/Center on the Rural Dropout Prevention Project. | More

Tripp Middle School wins top nutrition award

Tripp Middle School is the first middle school in Maine to earn a Gold Medal in the US Department of Agriculture’s HealthierUS School Challenge. | More

Schools invited to June wellness conference

Maine schools are invited to attend the 29th Annual Maine DOE Schoolsite Health Promotion & Wellness Conference, to be held Tuesday, June 24 through Thursday, June 26 at Sugarloaf. | More

Save the date for ESL Summer Academy in June

The Maine DOE is encouraging educators of English learners to save the date for the 4th Annual ESL Summer Academy for teachers and administrators, scheduled to run from Tuesday, June 24 through Thursday, June 26 at the University of Maine in Orono. | More

Registration open for World Languages Summer Institute

World Language teachers are encouraged to mark their calendars for the 3rd Annual World Languages Summer Institute, a highly successful part of the World Languages in Maine Schools: A Standards-Based Instruction and Assessment Initiative. | More

Safety top focus at school bus driver regional road-e-os

School bus drivers throughout Maine will participate in regional road-e-o competitions starting this month. | More

Scholarships available for educators of English learners

The University of Maine Project Reach program is inviting K-12 teachers across subject areas to apply to its scholarship program, which aims to improve classroom instruction for English learners (ELs) in Maine. | More

RFP issued for assessment system administrator

The Maine DOE has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids for the development of a web-based computer-adaptive testing system utilizing the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s common assessments for mathematics and English language arts.  | More

2014 Educator Talent Pool recommendations deadline coming up

The Maine DOE is accepting recommendations for the 2014 Maine Educator Talent Pool through May 2. | More

MPBN launches free online resource for teachers

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has launched a new educational offering available to educators across Maine at www.mpbn.net. | More

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