Maine DOE Monthly – October 27, 2015

Welcome to the October issue of the Maine DOE Monthly, which provides a recap of some of the month’s most important updates from the Department.

The fall kicked off with news of Governor LePage’s appointment of Acting Education Commissioner, a conditional assessment awardee, technology micro-credentials, and the 2016 Teacher of the Year, to highlight a few.

A summer of work for Maine DOE staff and an assessment task force of educators led to the creation of a request for proposals, and a team review of five proposals has now resulted in Maine DOE announcing a conditional assessment awardee. This announcement has captured a great deal of interest generating many questions which can best be answered once negotiations with Measured Progress of New Hampshire are complete.

Maine leads the country (again!) in classroom technology and it’s a promise for educators. This big announcement offers educators the opportunity to earn micro-credentials for their use and implementation of technology in their teaching. Comments made at the 2015 ACTEM Conference about Digital Promise’s educator micro-credential platform were this is “thinking outside of the box.” The continued momentum from the Maine Learning Technology Initiative keeps the State in the forefront.

When you ask Talya Edlund’s students what they think of their third grade teacher, you will hear words like, “stupendous, epic, amazing, and fantastic.” When you ask the principal of Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth of this 15 year veteran educator, you hear the term “top-tier educator.” And that is why the Cape Elizabeth teacher was named Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine DOE, administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness and increased education and has no cost to taxpayers at the local or State level.

Also this month, we welcomed a veteran of higher education to Maine DOE. Governor LePage announces Dr. William Beardsley will lead Department. Bill most recently served on the State Board of Education.

Other news of interest this past month include

Preschool classrooms are benefiting under a preschool expansion grant that is expected, in part, to serve over 750 children by 2018-19.

An estimated five to seven and a half million students miss 18 or more days of school each year, or nearly an entire month or more of school which prompted the US DOE to offer a tool kit and more aiming to help keep kids in school.

Maine’s Charter School Commission is at work now reviewing two new applications. Public hearings were held yesterday, and written comments are due by Nov.4.

Maine DOE has reinstated the use of Administrative Letters, a venue for interpretation of policy, new or existing laws, and regulations.

You are always welcomed to visit our Newsroom and weekly Commissioner’s Updates for the latest news about all that is offered by Maine DOE.