More information regarding exit from current school identifications

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed into law the Every Student Success Act (ESSA) which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Maine’s current flexibility waiver will expire on August 1, 2016. However, ESSA is clear that during the transition period priority and focus schools shall implement the interventions as described in State flexibility plans.

Under Maine’s approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver the Maine DOE has committed to the U.S. Department of Education to submit new lists of priority and focus schools in January 2016 based on the most recent data. Moving forward, states were presented with two options from the USDOE:

  • Option A: Do not exit schools and maintain current identifications through school year 2016-17; or
  • Option B: Exit schools based on approved criteria and identify new priority and focus schools for school year 2016-17.

At this time identified schools are unable to achieve the approved exit criteria which would enable Option B (see below). Therefore, Maine has selected Option A and will not exit schools and maintain current identifications through school year 2016-17.

School Identification: Priority Approved Exit Criteria Status Cohort 1 (identified 2013-2014) Status Cohort 2 (identified 2014-2015)
Have implemented interventions aligned with the ESEA Turnaround principles for three years X Schools identified in 2014-15 have implemented interventions for one (1) year.
Have demonstrated sustained improvement by: 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; Proficiency cannot be compared due to the changes in the State assessment. N/A
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) Maine schools do not currently have AMOs in place due to the changes in the State assessment. N/A
Not be in the lowest five percent on the School Achievement and Progress (SAP*) list N/A N/A

*SAP list – School Achievement and Progress list. A list on which all Title 1 schools are rank-ordered on the basis of the school’s three-year average proficiency in math and reading, as measured by NECAP, MHSA and PAAP assessments. The list also contains a three-year progress percentage, which is the sum of changes in the proficiency rate from year 1 to year 2 and from year 2 to year 3.

School Identification: Focus Exit Criteria Status Cohort 1 (identified 13-14) Status Cohort 2 (identified 14-15)
Have implemented interventions aligned with the ESEA Turnaround principles for three years X Schools identified in 2014-15 have implemented interventions for one (1) year.
Demonstrate at least a 20 percent (%) decrease in the gaps that led to the school’s identification as a Focus school; and Insufficient data due to the changes in the State assessment. N/A
Not have a within-school achievement gap index in the highest 10 percent (%) for either reading or math for two (2) consecutive years. N/A N/A

Schools identified in 2013-14 will maintain their identifications for the school year 2016-17. These schools will continue to receive program improvement support in the form of an assigned school improvement coach and additional program improvement funds. A new accountability system will be established for school year 2016-17.

Schools identified in school year 2014-15 will maintain their current timeline and supports completing their third year of interventions in school year 2016-17.

Further questions regarding the exit to current school identifications should be directed to Maine DOE’s Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome at rachelle.tome@maine.gov or 624-6708; Director of Assessment & Accountability Charlene Tucker at charlene.tucker@maine.gov or 624-6827; or ESEA Director – Title I Janette Kirk at janette.kirk@maine.gov or 6707.

Maine DOE is currently working with stakeholders to develop Maine’s new accountability system. Those interested in assisting with the development of Maine’s accountability system should contact Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome at the above contact information.