Welcome to the January issue of the Maine DOE Monthly, which provides a recap of some of the month’s most important updates from the Department.
It’s been a busy start to 2015 here at the Maine DOE. With the administration window for the new Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced opening soon, we continue to release resources to ensure students and schools are prepared for success including practice and training tests and this video of our recent regional assessment administration workshops. We also announced our proposal to improve how Maine’s public charter schools are funded, shared the final report of the so-called EPS Commission and passed along new resources to support the local development of educator evaluation systems.
As we work toward ensuring there is a great teacher in every Maine classroom, it’s important to recognize the effective educators in our schools who are working tirelessly every day to help students reach their full potential. Last week the Department announced that through Feb. 20, Mainers can submit online nominations for the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year. Last year we received a record number of nominations (nearly 400) and we hope to surpass that this year.
Finally this month, we welcomed educator, author and former Governor LePage Senior Policy Advisor Tom Desjardin as our new Acting Commissioner and veteran educator and Auburn School Department Multiple Pathways Director Mike Muir as our new Learning Through Technology Team Director.
Read on for a roundup of other recent updates from the Department and as always, stay tuned to our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates for the latest news you can use from the Maine DOE.
Dispatches & Press Releases
Nominations sought for 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year
Members of the public can enter educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students at www.mainetoy.org through Feb. 20. | More
LePage Administration proposes public charter school funding fix
The LePage Administration is proposing legislation that would have the Maine DOE make monthly payments directly to approved public charter schools starting in FY16, the same way the Department has long distributed funds to traditional public school districts. | More
EPS Commission releases final report
The Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula has released its final report. | More
Tom Desjardin named Acting Education Commissioner
Tom Desjardin has been appointed by Governor Paul R. LePage as Acting Education Commissioner. An 11th generation Mainer and a graduate of Edward Little High School, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida State University and has a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Maine at Orono. | More
Mike Muir joins Maine DOE as Learning Through Technology Team Director
The Maine DOE has selected one of the state’s leading learning technology integrators and a 30-year veteran educator to head its Learning Through Technology Team, which administers the groundbreaking 1:1 Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). | More
Department releases new online resources to support spring MEA administration
The Maine DOE continues to support schools as they prepare for a successful spring administration of the new online Maine Educational Assessment for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy and has recently added new resources to its website. | More
Smarter Balanced practice, training tests now available
Smarter Balanced practice and training tests are now available to help schools better prepare students for the statewide spring assessment. | More
Maine DOE releases new educator effectiveness resources
The Maine DOE is releasing additional new resources to support the development and implementation of Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. The new resources build upon those released last month and include Leader Evaluation and Professional Growth (LEPG) modules and a presentation specifically for special educators. | More
Maine DOE adopts rules to strengthen public preschool programs
Rule Chapter 124: Basic Approval Standards: Public Preschool Programs has been formally adopted by the Department of Education and took effect Dec. 28. | More
Maine to develop plan to ensure equitable access to effective educators
The Maine DOE is continuing its work to ensure an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school. In the coming months, the Department will engage stakeholders in conversations to inform the development of a four to seven year state plan to provide all students with effective educators. | More