Recently, three members of Maine DOE’s Standards and Instructional Support Team presented information to a local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (an organization that promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education). The presentations were well received and have led to much discussion within that organization in the days following the meeting.
Early Childhood Specialist Sue Reed highlighted the most recent changes in public preschool. First, she gave an overview of Maine’s Early Learning & Development Standards and their alignment with Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards. She discussed the implementation of Chapter 124, standards for public preschool programs and then provided information on the preschool expansion grant and the 2015-16 pilot for Kindergarten Entry Assessment, a formative observation tool used to inform curriculum planning and instruction.
Literacy Specialist, Lee Anne Larsen, shared information about Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards for English language arts and literacy, K-12, including a description of instructional shifts encouraged by the standards. She also provided information about the Maine DOE’s Cross Discipline Network (CDLN), a professional development opportunity for PK-12 educators that focuses on literacy strategies that support content area teaching and learning.
The CDLN has produced a repository of professional development webinars which can be accessed by educators at no cost through the website. Finally, Lee Anne described the Maine DOE’s statewide literacy plan, Literacy for ME, and shared resources available through this initiative that support literacy education efforts, including community level literacy teams.
Proficiency-Based Education Specialist Diana Doiron highlighted Maine’s commitment to proficiency-based learning and to practices that intentionally build deep learning for students by building on students’ demonstrated mastery of knowledge and skills in ways that pique student curiosity and commitment to use what they learn in meaningful ways. She shared visual representations of preliminary aggregated statewide data that revealed both the progress and the challenges as Maine educators work to ensure there is evidence of each student’s growth toward proficiency of Maine’s learning standards.
Once all Maine school administrative units with high schools have had an opportunity to report their progress towards implementing proficiency-based learning and proficiency-based diplomas, the final aggregated statewide data will be featured in an upcoming Commissioner’s Update. For more information about proficiency-based education, visit the Department’s Getting to Proficiency website.