Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) update

Maine’s ESEA Flexibility renewal waiver approved on Aug. 12, 2015 highlights Maine DOE’s continued efforts to provide additional supports to schools and the most at-risk students. As part of supports and accountability, the Department must also identify criteria to be used in order to determine when a school is making significant progress in improving student achievement.

In 2015-16 Maine will have four (4) Title I School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools eligible for exit review. In order to exit priority status, they must be in the lowest five percent of the School Achievement Progress list (SAP) in addition to demonstrating improved achievement and improved achievement over multiple years. This will be calculated utilizing the annual proficiency calculation used for priority school identification.

For 2015-16 all schools identified as priority or SIG in 2014-15 and 2013-14 maintain Priority school identification.

Maine intends to submit an amendment by Jan. 31, 2016 for setting revised Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) and will also outline exit criteria for any non-SIG priority school identified in 2013-14 or 2014-15 ensuring priority schools eligible for exit demonstrate improved achievement and improved achievement over multiple years. These schools are not eligible for exit review prior to 2016-17.

If you are interested in participating on the Accountability Working group please contact Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome at: rachelle.tome@maine.gov.

In summary, in order to exit Priority Status, the school must:

  1. Have implemented interventions aligned with the ESEA Turnaround principles for three years;
  2. Have demonstrated sustained improvement by:
    1. Demonstrating an increase in the average proficiency for math and reading and demonstrating a rate of progress that is at or above the state average rate of progress;
    2. Making Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for the “all student” group in reading or math (Remaining content area not making AMOs must be making sufficient progress toward making AMOs); and
  3. Not be in the lowest five percent on the School Achievement and Progress (SAP) list.

For 2016-17 schools in the lowest five percent of overall performance and not meeting the State average for progress will be added to existing schools identified as Priority Schools. The average performance of 2014-15 and 2015-16 combined proficiency of English language arts (ELA) and math will be calculated and examined. The averages will be rank ordered. A comparison of combined proficiencies for ELA and math from 2014-15 and 2015-16 will be calculated to determine the State average for progress.

For 2017-18 schools identified as being in the lowest five percent in 2016-17, that did not demonstrate continued progress at a rate at or above the State average for progress will be added to existing schools identified as priority schools. Progress in 2017-18 will be determined by comparing the combined proficiencies for math and ELA in 2014-15 to 2016-17.

To exit Focus status, a school must:

  1. Have implemented interventions aligned with its reason for designation for three years; and
  2. Demonstrate at least a 20 percent decrease in the gaps that led to the school’s identification as a Focus school; and
  3. Not have a within-school achievement gap index in the highest 10 percent for either reading or math for two (2) consecutive years.

For 2015-16 all schools identified will maintain current school identifications.

For further information please contact Janette Kirk, ESEA Director -Title I janette.kirk@maine.gov or Rachelle Tome, Chief Academic Officer at rachelle.tome@maine.gov.