Maine’s Director of the Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE) grant initiative, Scott Harrison, recently traveled to Washington D.C. to brief Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King on the accomplishments MSFE’s ten school districts have made in their efforts to create collaborative, improvement-focused educator effectiveness programs.
Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE) is a federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) project which provides resources for schools to use as they explore innovative ways of approaching the critical levers within a school organization that have the greatest impact on improving student learning and educator effectiveness. These levers include teacher and leader recruitment and retention, articulation of clear standards for effective professional practice, and ongoing feedback and professional development processes that create opportunities for teacher leadership and differentiated professional development and compensation. The goals and work of the Maine Schools for Excellence mirror Maine’s strategic plan, Education Evolving, aimed at addressing these same critical, interrelated components of school improvement in all of Maine’s schools.
Harrison understands the critical role Maine’s legislators have in shaping federal education policies that impact Maine’s schools and students, and was encouraged by the high level of interest Collins and King demonstrated in the comprehensive nature of the work of the Maine Schools for Excellence. “In particular, they were impressed with the progress being made by current TIF/MSFE workgroups,” he said.
These workgroups include Educator Preparation and Employment (chaired by Barbara Moody, Director of Education, Husson University), Teacher Leadership (chaired by Maine Teachers of the Year, Jennifer Dorman (2015) and Karen MacDonald, NBCT (2014), and School Culture and Climate (co-chaired by David Murphy, Ed.D. Superintendent, MSAD 44 and Patricia Hopkins, Superintendent, MSAD 11) and include a wide variety of education experts, practitioners and community stakeholders from across the state.
Harrison went on to share how appreciative both Senators were of all that is being done by Maine districts to support the success of educators in the service of their students.