The revised Chapter 132: Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction was signed into law March 31, 2022. This revision cycle updated the Health and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Language standards.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will be providing guidance and resources to School Administrative Units (SAUs) in making the transition to the revised standards throughout the 2022-2023 school year. There is no pre-determined date when SAUs must make the transition to the revised standards. It is the Maine DOE’s belief that SAUs will use their own professional judgment and phase in the revised standards at a pace that makes sense for their students and for their educational practice.
The proposed health and physical education standards have been revised to identify health education as a strand and physical education as a strand to better delineate the unique standards and performance expectations in each. For the health education strand, the proposed draft is closely aligned to the National Health Education Standards and includes minor adjustments to wording for clarification and the combining or elimination of some language in order to be more clear, concise, and appropriate (for the age level or age span). In addition, content topics and examples were removed from the performance expectations as the committee felt they were limiting the content by implying those were the only topics to be addressed. For the physical education strand, several standards were renamed and/or restructured and the performance expectations reworded to better meet the needs of Maine educators.
The proposed visual and performing arts standards have been adapted from the National Core Arts Standards while still including those items that Maine arts educators felt are specific to their work with Maine students.
The two biggest changes to the document include the addition of media arts standards, a rapidly developing field of the creative economy that includes audio, video, digital design, and mixed media creations, and the realignment of strands that separate each arts discipline into its own collection of unique standards and performance expectations (previously, three of the five arts standards were universal across all arts disciplines; now, they are individualized for each discipline.) Although some disciplines share the same standards, their performance expectations are unique.
The proposed world languages standards are in alignment to national standards (ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages), which were published in 2012, and are designed to meet the needs of Maine educators. Whereas the current standards include four strands, in the proposed draft, they have been reorganized into five strands, consistent with the five goal areas represented in the national standards. To make this shift, concepts included in the four original strands were retained but categorized differently in order to align with the five goal areas. For example, language comparisons appears in the communication strand in the current standards, while in the proposed draft it appears in the comparisons strand.
Another substantial shift is the inclusion of proficiency levels in addition to grade spans. The current standards represent a full pre-K to grade 12 progression of language learning. The proposed draft also offers this full progression, while at the same time providing multiple entry points by directing educators to begin at the current level of proficiency of their students. For example, if a program begins in kindergarten, the educator will start by addressing the kindergarten/novice low performance expectations. If the program begins in 7th grade, the educator will start with the performance expectations in the same kindergarten/novice low level, in order to appropriately target instruction to students’ current proficiency level.
It is also important to note that the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, which include general communication and intercultural communication, provided the basis for the performance expectations in the proposed standards. The performance expectations in the communication strand are based on the can-do statements for interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. For the four remaining strands, performance expectations were established based primarily on the intercultural communication can-co statements.
This revised document is the result of a thorough review process that began in the fall 2019 with multiple opportunities for stakeholder voice, and is the result of expertise from Department staff, representatives from higher education, district and building administration, as well as dozens of Maine educators.