Maine DOE offers new resource to help local districts monitor student growth in reading

The Maine Department of Education (Department) will begin using a universal reading metric called The Lexile® Framework for Reading to help Maine school districts monitor student growth and progress.

The Lexile Framework, which aligns with Maine’s State eMPowerME Assessments administered to grades 3 through 8 (among many other nationally used assessments), will allow districts to benchmark reading growth and assist with a comparison of data across commercial assessments.

“The framework will provide all schools in Maine with an additional resource to enhance classroom instruction,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “It will also help schools in their efforts to support families working at home with their children.”

The Lexile Framework was created by MetaMetrics® and provides a scientific approach to measuring growth and matching students to ability-appropriate learning materials. The Lexile Framework involves a scale for measuring both the reading ability of an individual and the text complexity of materials he or she encounters.

Content specialists at the Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with MetaMetrics, are beginning to prepare professional development opportunities that align with Lexile Framework data to help districts make instruction improvements based on student need.

The new resource is available through funds from Title I grant money from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by Maine’s Department staff, with ongoing professional learning opportunities to support statewide implementation.

Set to become available late spring/early summer, districts will be able to start using the new resource to monitor growth beginning in the 2018/19 school year, both within a single school year and from year-to-year going forward.

For more information contact Rachel Paling, Maine DOE Director of Communications at Rachel.paling@maine.gov or (207) 624-6747.

Title I schoolwide program eligibility waiver request now available

Section 1114(a)(1)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires a Title I school to have at least 40% poverty to be eligible to operate a schoolwide program. Schoolwide flexibility allows a school to upgrade the entire educational program of a school. ESEA section 1114 (a)(1)(B) permits a State Education Agency (SEA) to waive the 40% poverty threshold requirement, after taking into account how a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students in the school while improving academic achievement and other factors.

If a Title I participating school does not meet the 40% poverty threshold and wishes to obtain a waiver to operate a schoolwide program, the School Administrative Unit (SAU) must complete the attached waiver request form on the school’s behalf. If multiple Title I schools wish to receive a waiver, the SAU must complete a waiver request form for each individual school.

The SAU and school remain responsible for meeting all other ESEA section 1114 requirements for operating a Title I schoolwide program. This includes the development of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan that addresses the needs of all students, but particularly the needs of students experiencing challenges to meet State academic standards.

Waiver request forms must be signed by the Superintendent to be accepted by the Maine Department of Education. To ensure timely waiver approval, it is recommended that waiver requests are submitted prior to the submission of a CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan for the school.

Download Waiver

Please submit completed waiver requests to:

Chelsey Fortin-Trimble
ESEA Federal Programs & Title I Director
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04330
Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov

2017-2018 ESEA Report Cards

The 2017-2018 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Report Cards are now publicly available in the Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS).  The 2017-2018 ESEA Report Cards present results from the 2016-2017 school year.

The ESEA Report Cards are designed to meet federal requirements for data reporting as outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  States are required to provide an annual report card to inform stakeholders about the progress of students and schools on indicators of student achievement, graduation rates, status of ESEA accountability and information on fully certified teachers.

The 2017-18 ESEA report card is for informational purposes only and does not impact school accountability status. Title I Accountability status for 2017-2018 remains as determined by school performance reported for the 2013-2014 school year. A new school and district accountability system will be implemented at the beginning of school year 2018-2019 as part of Maine’s approved ESSA plan with the U.S. Department of Education.

MAARS can be accessed through the following link, which is also located in the Maine Department of Education website.  Report Cards can be accessed in MAARS from the “Quick Reports” page by clicking on the “School,” “District,” or “State” button for school year 2016-2017, which downloads an excel sheet with links to each Report Card.

Further questions regarding the purpose of the 2017-2018 ESEA Report Cards should be directed to ESEA Federal Programs and Title I Director Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov or call 624-6815.  Questions regarding assessment and data reporting should be directed to Assessment Director Andrew Hudacs at Andrew.Hudacs@maine.gov or call 624-6827.

 

PRIORITY NOTICE: Additional training dates for Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan

As a result of the substantial response to technical assistance sessions for support regarding the development and completion of a Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan, as required under the recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Maine Department of Education has expanded the training schedule.

Completed SAU Consolidated Plans must be submitted to the Maine Department of Education on or before July 1, 2018. The utilization of the CNA and SAU Consolidated Plan template will ensure all required elements are included.

The Department has expanded upon the following training schedule to support SAU Data Coordinators, SAU and school staff as they complete the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan. Registration can be completed through the session title hyperlinks below.

Data Collection – Remains unchanged
The target audience for this session is SAU Data Coordinators and will provide an overall view of the template document. Please ensure participant has log-in credentials to NEO for all applicable modules. Tandberg is available.
Tuesday February 13, 2018
9 AM – 12 Noon
Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 103

Work session – Extended timeframe & change in location
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan. Morning timeframe will focus on sections 3-6, afternoon timeframe to focus on sections 7-10. You may attend one or both sessions.
Tuesday February 6, 2018
9 am – 3 pm
Capital Area Technical Center, 7 Pierce Dive, Augusta, ME 04330
(1 pm – 4 PM Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 541)

Work session – Remains unchanged
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan. Session to focus on sections 3-6 only. Tandberg is available.
Tuesday March 6, 2018
8:30 AM – 12 Noon
Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 541

Work session – Additional date added
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan. Morning timeframe will focus on sections 3-6, afternoon timeframe to focus on sections 7-10.
Friday March 9, 2018
9 am – 3 pm
Capital Area Technical Center, 7 Pierce Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

Data Dive and Evaluation – Remains unchanged The target audience will be central office and plan development team members who will examine the data to determine root cause and next steps. The group will be divided into two groups for a work session: Group 1 – NWEA data, Group 2 – STAR data.
Monday March 19, 2018
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 103

Available resources to assist SAUs to complete the SAU Consolidated Plan include:

  • Guidance Document –  – This document provides guiding questions for SAUs to ponder and respond to when completing the CNA. The SAU Consolidated Plan will be developed after the CNA is completed.
  • Question and Answers – This document contains a summary of all questions posed during technical assistance sessions.

In order to register for the upcoming professional development sessions, please click on the hyperlinks included below. By clicking on the appropriate link, you will be brought to a registration form.

For further information please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director, Office of Learning Systems at (207) 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov

Training schedule for Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan

The Maine Department of Education continues to provide support regarding the development and completion of a Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan  as required under the recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Completed SAU Consolidated Plans must be submitted to the Maine Department of Education on or before July 1, 2018. The utilization of the CNA and SAU Consolidated Plan template will ensure all required elements are included.

The Department has developed the following training schedule to support SAU Data Coordinators, SAU and school staff as they complete the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and SAU Consolidated Plan. Registration can be completed through the session title hyperlinks below.

Data Collection
The target audience for this session is SAU Data Coordinators
Tuesday February 13, 2018
9 AM – 12 Noon Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 103

Work session
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan.
Tuesday February 6, 2018
1 pm – 4 PM Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 541

Work session
The target audience for this session is SAU and school staff completing the CNA/SAU Consolidated Plan.
Tuesday March 6, 2018
8:30 AM – 12 Noon Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 541

Data Dive and Evaluation
The target audience will be central office and plan development team members who will examine the data to determine root cause and next steps. The group will be divided into two groups for a work session: Group 1 – NWEA data, Group 2 – STAR data.
Monday March 19, 2018
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Augusta, Cross State Office Building, Room 103

Available resources to assist SAUs to complete the SAU Consolidated Plan include:

  • Guidance Document –  – This document provides guiding questions for SAUs to ponder and respond to when completing the CNA. The SAU Consolidated Plan will be developed after the CNA is completed.
  • Question and Answers – This document contains a summary of all questions posed during technical assistance sessions.

In order to register for the upcoming professional development sessions, please click on the hyperlinks included below. By clicking on the appropriate link, you will be brought to a registration form.

For further information please contact Janette Kirk, Deputy Director for the Office of Learning Systems at (207) 624-6707 or Janette.Kirk@maine.gov

New State expectations for SAT essays set to help improve student writing

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) will start using a “cut score” that includes State expectations for the essay portion of the SAT for the first time. A cut score is the minimum score required for performance at each State expectation level. The essay cut scores are expected to help educators further enhance student writing.

The essay cut score was researched and determined as a collaborative effort among the Maine DOE, Maine educators, technical support from assessment experts, the Delaware Department of Education and approval by Maine’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

While essay scores have previously been reported to the State, no expectation has been provided for satisfactory performance until now. Starting in 2018, the SAT essay score will have a designation of “Meets Expectations” or “Does Not Meet Expectations.” There are no changes to the State expectations for student performance in the SAT mathematics and reading score metrics.

In order to meet expectations for the essay cut score, students must score at least 3 out of 8 points on each of the three sub scores, and they must achieve an overall essay score of at least 13. Schools and districts will be provided with data that includes the percentage of students that meet the SAT expectation.

In addition to providing school officials with a measurement of the over-all student achievement level in writing, the new essay cut scores will also provide educators with an opportunity to seek improvement in teaching students analytical writing techniques.

While the goal may be a challenge for some Maine students, the Maine DOE is eager to assist educators in helping students achieve these expectations through professional development opportunities. A set of workshops took place in the fall of 2017 and materials are available on the Maine DOE Website. For questions or to discuss future professional development opportunities contact Morgan Dunton, English Language Arts Specialist at morgan.dunton@maine.gov or (207) 624-6625.

The SAT essay cut scores will also be one of the factors that contribute to performance in the federal Every Students Succeeds Act Accountability System. For more information about ESSA contact Chelsea Fortin-Trimble, ESEA Federal Programs & Title I Director at Chelsey.A.Fortin@maine.gov or (207)-624-6815.

For more information about Maine Education Assessments including the SATs contact Andrew Hudacs, Director of Assessment at Andrew.Hudacs@maine.gov or (207) 624-6636.

Priority Notice: Maine DOE seeks assessment waiver

The following notice was sent to Superintendents, District Assessment Coordinators and Special Education Directors on November 30, 2017.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), limits the percentage of students assessed using an alternate assessment to no more than one percent (1%) of the total number of students assessed in the state.

The Maine DOE and Maine’s special education directors have steadily been working toward this goal through trainings about criteria and reviews of student data.  As a result, Maine’s percentage of tested students who participate in the alternate assessment is steadily decreasing.  However, in 2016-17, the percentage remains greater than 1%.  While we are working to meet the 1% statewide limit on the 2017-18 test administration, we are not certain that we will reach that target.

Therefore, the Maine DOE will request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education from the requirements of 34 C.F.R. §200.6(c)(4), that limit the allowable percentage to no more than 1%.  The waiver request will provide: (1) data regarding progress toward the 1% expectation, (2) documentation of our increased efforts in implementing the guidance criteria, and (3) justification for Maine’s current alternate participation rate.

The Proposed USED 1% Waiver request is now available for review and public comment. Individuals and organizations may submit written comments on the proposed waiver request pursuant to 34 C.F.R.§200.6(c)(4) through December 14, 2017.

Questions and/or comments may be directed to Charlene Tucker, Director of Assessment, at charlene.tucker@maine.gov.