The Maine Department of Education is currently recruiting elementary (5th grade) educators and alternate participants (grades 8 and 3rd year of high school) to participate in an upcoming standard setting for the state’s science assessment, Maine (MEA) Science.
Maine educators and the DOE play a crucial role in the development of this assessment for students. No prior experience with standard setting or standard setting methodology is required however, panelists should be a science expert that teaches students who participate in the Maine Science assessment and have a thorough understanding of the assessed Maine Learning Results (MLRs) Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants must be able to differentiate between student performances at different levels of achievement. Standard setting panels consist of 10 educators per grade band (grade 5, 8, and 3rd year of high school). Panelists will have the opportunity to discuss and determine application thresholds for Maine.
Current needs include:
- Grade 5 – 4 Educators
- Grade 8 – Alternates*
- 3rd year of High School – Alternates*
*Alternates need to indicate they would be available should a panelist be unable to participate.
The standard setting is scheduled to take place from July 26th – 28th 2022 in Augusta. Travel, accommodations and expenses will be covered with a daily stipend provided to selected panelists.
Please consider applying or sharing the upcoming opportunities with colleagues. The expertise and contributions of Maine educators are a critical element of the continued development cycle for these assessments.
Interested? Complete the panelist registration survey.
Want more information? Please reach out to Janette Kirk, Chief of Federal Programs at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.
In a US Department of Education (USDOE) Dear Colleague letter to state chiefs on February 22nd, 2021, USDOE provided guidance and invited states to apply for waivers granting significant flexibility in the areas of accountability and reporting for the 2020-2021 school year. Following this guidance and flexibility, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) is requesting accountability and reporting waivers pursuant to §8401(b) from requirements within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015). USDOE requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, to solicit and respond to public comment on the request and provide evidence of the available comment period. This 14-day public comment period will be available from April 27, 2021- May 10, 2021.
A full copy of the waiver request can be located on the Maine DOE’s ESSA webpage. In summary, the Maine Department of Education will be requesting waivers from the following requirements:
- Accountability and school identification requirements in ESEA sections 1111(c)(4) and 1111(d)(2)(C)-(D): the requirements that a State measure progress toward long-term goals and measurements of interim progress; meaningfully differentiate, on an annual basis, all public schools, including by adjusting the Academic Achievement indicator based on a participation rate below 95 percent; and identify schools for comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement based on data from the 2020- 2021 school year.
- Report card provisions related to accountability in ESEA section 1111(h) based on data from the 2020-2021 school year. These include:
- Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(i)(I)-(IV) and (VI) (Accountability system description, other than the list of comprehensive, targeted, and additional targeted support and improvement schools).
- Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(iii)(I) (Other Academic indicator results for schools that are not high schools).
- Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(v) (School Quality or Student Success indicator results).
- Section 1111(h)(1)(C)(vi) (Progress toward meeting long-terms goals and measurements of interim progress).
- Section 1111(h)(2)(C) with respect, at the local educational agency (LEA) and school levels, to all waived requirements in section 1111(h)(1)(C).
Public Comment may be submitted to: ESSA.DOE@maine.gov. Additional questions can be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems.
As the nation explores the future of education and embraces opportunities for new and innovative approaches to student instruction and assessment, the Maine Department Of Education(DOE) is excited to develop a more meaningful approach to assessment.
The federally-mandated State summative assessment is an essential component of an equitable instructional cycle. The assessment serves multiple purposes for educators, students, parents, policy makers, and community members, all with the shared goal of supporting student growth for lifelong learning.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has afforded educators the opportunity to meaningfully reflect on instructional practice, outcomes and student learning. As educators continue to explore opportunities for authentic learning, we are observing an increase in interdisciplinary/integrated instruction and the ability of students to apply their learning in a real-world context. With this in mind, and to ensure we are assessing student learning in a similar and authentic manner, the redesign of state assessment is underway.
The Maine DOE is seeking individuals interested in being involved in role specific assessment redesign focus groups. These focus groups will serve as collaborative thought partners as Maine’s approach to assessment and accountability is redefined, reframed and redesigned.
From these role alike focus groups, an ESSA Advisory/Maine TAC will be established. The ESSA Advisory/Maine TAC will represent the geographic and demographic diversity across the state and will be responsible for assisting the Department in synthesizing focus group feedback, suggestions, and best practice approaches to develop a cohesive assessment and accountability plan that addresses and supports the needs of Maine students while assisting Maine in meeting ESEA Federal assessment and accountability requirements
In the coming months, role specific focus groups will meet for a half day on a bi-monthly basis. Additionally, those nominated from within focus groups to serve on the ESSA Advisory/Maine TAC will meet for ninety (90) minutes once per month for an extended period of time. If you are interested in being a part of this work, please complete the intent to participate form by February 26.
The Department’s School Finance Team needs the EF-S-214 data in order to calculate and apply any adjustments to the ED 279s prior to year-end.
The EF-S-214 was opened to Maine School Administrative Units (SAUs) on March 1st for data entry. We are providing as much time as we can to SAUs to get this data entry completed, but it MUST be entered no later than May 15th. This timeline will allow us to apply eligible adjustments to the current year High Cost Out-of-District allocation prior to the end of the fiscal year.
Given the uniqueness of the current situation, the School Finance Team is providing SAUs two options when filling out their EF-S-214.
- If the SAU is continuing to pay for the out of district placement, it would report cost up to the end of the fiscal year, as they would under normal circumstances.
- If a SAU has stopped paying tuition for out of district placements, they would report what they have spent up to this point in the fiscal year, instead of estimating the cost to the end of the year.
Only students that meet the threshold for being high cost and where the SAU is not reimbursed should be reported on the EF-S-214.
The EF-S-214 report may be found by logging into NEO at: https://neo.maine.gov/DOE/NEO/Accounts/Account/Login
Please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Review and Compliance Consultant at: Stephanie.Clark@maine.gov or 207-624-6807.
Collaboration and support was the primary focus of three recent technical assistance session held in Ellsworth, Brewer, and Augusta between 50+ school and district leadership teams and the Maine DOE ESEA Federal Program team members.
During the half day sessions, the 100+ participants worked alongside DOE staff, including school leadership coaches, to explore innovative approaches to leveraging federal funds through blending and braiding of ESEA Federal Program allocations, school-wide authority, and additional Title I school improvement funds to supplement and enhance current student support and instructional practice.
“We had great turnout, great conversation, and enthusiasm at these meetings and we are encouraged as we move forward,” said Janette Kirk, Maine DOE Chief of Learning Systems.