PRIORITY NOTICE: Public Comment Period for Science and Alternative Science Waiver from Public Reporting Now Open

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking thirty (30) days of public comment from October 16 – November 14, 2020, on a waiver application (waiver from §8401(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015) to the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The request seeks a waiver from publicly reporting student general and alternate science test data from the Spring 2021 assessment administration.

The U.S. Department of Education requires state educational agencies, when seeking waivers from statutory or regulatory requirements, solicit public comment on the application, respond to public comments, and provide evidence of the available comment period. A copy of the letter seeking waiver from §8401(b) of the ESEA as amended by ESSA can be downloaded with key elements of the request included below:

Federal program affected by the requested waiver

Section 1111(h) of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, requires State and LEA report cards to include information on student achievement on the academic assessments in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science described in section 1111(b)(2) at each level of achievement (as determined by the State under section 1111(b)(1)) for all students.

Maine is seeking a waiver from public reporting for the general and alternate science assessments. Maine’s 2021-2022 ESEA Data Dashboard (Report card) will continue to publicly report alternate assessment results for mathematics and English language arts.  Maine will continue to report the math and ELA/Literacy assessment results to parents through individualized student reports .

Maine will continue to meet all other reporting requirements. Maine specifically requests a waiver from the public reporting of both the general and alternate science assessments performance only.

Sections impacted include:

  • Section 1111(b)(2)(B)(iv)
  • Section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) (disaggregation of alt. science data by subgroup)
  • Section 1111(h)(1)(A)
  • Section 1111(h)(2)(iii)

Impact to Student Achievement

There will be no impact to assessing student achievement as all eligible students will continue to participate in the general science and science alternate assessment where applicable. The waiver will permit Maine to not publicly release student general and alternate science assessment achievement data. The Maine Department of Education will only report participation rates related to the administration of the general and alternate assessment in grades 5, 8, and the third-year high school during the 2021 spring administration. During the 2022 spring assessment administration, Maine will participate in the science alternate assessment on-line operational alternate assessment.  Standard setting and post equating in the summer of 2022 would allow for reportable student achievement levels and scores that fall.

Monitoring

Assessment administration will follow all assessment administration policies and protocols. Schools will be provided science data within the confidential reporting platform. Individual Student Reports (ISRs) will be available for bulk download in order to share applicable math and ELA/Literacy student performance with parents/guardians or caretakers.

Continuity of Services to Students

Public Comment

Maine has solicited public comment regarding a request for a waiver from public reporting. This public comment was announced through the Departments Newsroom, social media accounts and through relevant Listservs. Public comment was solicited between October 16th and November 14th, 2020 for a period of 30 days. A summary of comments and the Department’s response is attached with the waiver request. All comments, in support of or against the waiver request should be submitted to Janette Kirk at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov.

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Three Maine Schools Receive National Blue Ribbon School Honors

The U.S. Department of Education today announced three Maine schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The three schools are:

  • Cape Elizabeth High School, Cape Elizabeth Public Schools
  • Fruit Street School, Bangor School Department
  • Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth School Department

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On November 14 and 15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at https://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.

For more information contact Kelli Deveaux (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov

Reduced Rate Access and Training for Pk-3rd Grade Teachers Using Teaching Strategies Gold®

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) has finalized a contract with Teaching Strategies to support the use of their Gold® assessment tool in elementary grade (Pk-3) classrooms.

Teaching Strategies Gold® is an authentic formative assessment tool that aligns to Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards for PreK and Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards for kindergarten through 3rd grade. Teachers observe and document evidence of student skills as part of authentic instruction.  Data collected through this assessment is captured in an online platform.

Public schools will be able to access a reduced per student rate of $15.95 for the 2019-20 school year. Schools may apply for this reduced rate here. Use of Teaching Strategies Gold® is an option for use as part of a school or district’s local assessment system.  It is not a state required assessment.

In addition to the reduced rate, the Maine DOE is hosting a two-day training on August 19th and 20th for teachers and administrators who are new to using this assessment.  The training will be held at the Maine State Library located at 230 State St. Augusta, Maine. Training will cover the research behind Gold® and how to access the online platform. Educators will also have time to navigate the tool and practice observation skills of individual student development. Administrators new to the tool are encouraged to attend day one (8/19/2019). Training is limited to 30 participants and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Registration will automatically close once it has reached 30 participants.

Registration for all participants is now open through August 16, 2019.

Click here for more information about Teaching Strategies Gold®,

For questions, contact Nicole Madore at 624-6677 or  Nicole.madore@maine.gov

 

 

 

Professional Development Opportunity: Creative Assessment- Teacher as Curator

Description:

For Visual and Performing Arts teachers, or those looking to more robustly intertwine the arts into their curriculum:  The Maine Department of Education invites you to be part of its upcoming professional development opportunity, Creative Assessment: Teacher as Curator. This session will explore the use of the arts as creative assessment strategies where participants explore artistic approaches to demonstrate academic learning and devise ways of gathering and presenting evidence of learning through documentation. Renowned facilitator and arts specialist, Dr. Lisa Donovan will provide an in-depth view of how the processes and products of the creative process can fuel a feedback loop for teaching and learning. We will wrestle with the question of “How do you tell the story of learning?” Participants will leave with a wide range of strategies for authentic, performance-based formative and summative processes for assessing learning in arts integrated work.

Participants will:

  • Explore their role as a curator, intentionally selecting, organizing and presenting information, strategies for teaching and learning as well as presenting evidence of student understanding.
  • Demonstrate how documentation and creative assessment strategies and processes utilizing the visual and performing arts to provide a holistic view of teaching and learning.
  • Explore a variety of models that can be adapted and used by educators across content areas and grade levels.
  • Engage in an experiential exploration of an arts integrated progression
  • Learn and apply several creative assessment strategies to their own work
  • Design documentation of their learning as models that can be used in their classrooms.

Participant Responsibilities:

  • Attend two day-long professional development training, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Senator Inn, 284 Western Ave., Augusta, ME 04330.
  • Dates for training are: Thursday, July 18th and Friday, July 19th.
  • Arrive at the first workshop with an arts lesson, in writing, in order to apply the concepts addressed throughout the sessions practically.

Compensation:

Each participant will receive a stipend of $150.00 (maximum: 20 participants).

To Register:

Interested parties should register HERE by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10th. Please forward all questions to Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, at: nathaniel.j.menifield@maine.gov.

FREE Facilitated School Team Problem Solving Opportunity!

We are very excited to announce that the Maine Teacher Leadership Committee (Teach to Lead® Maine), in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education, United States Department of Education, and the University of Maine Farmington, will be hosting the second annual Powered By Teach to Lead® Summit on August 16, 2019.   This event encourages teams of teachers and administrators to identify a problem of practice or area of need in their school/district and develop a concrete plan to solve the identified problem/issue at their school.  Each team will be paired with a critical friend who will serve as a facilitator throughout the day.  All active Maine educators are welcome to submit ideas as individuals, but we strongly encourage schools/districts to bring a team of stakeholders to make the best progress at the Powered By Teach to Lead® Summit.  Examples of problems of practice that teams identified for the 2018 summit included: trauma-informed schools, development of a makerspace, teacher-led professional development, arts education, and more!

Please consider joining us for this FREE event on August 16th, 2019 at University of Maine Farmington.  As space is limited for this event, idea submissions will be reviewed by a team of education professionals, and invitations for participation, with registration details, will be emailed to those accepted.

Teach to Lead® Maine is a statewide effort, uniting educators, policy-makers, and the greater community around the common vision that every Maine student will benefit from the purposeful involvement of teacher leaders who collaborate in guiding the continuous improvement of schools and the teaching profession.  For more information about teacher leadership, please visit the Maine Department of Education’s website.

Application Link: http://tinyurl.com/poweredbymaine
Flier PDF: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OAoAx94jopzyGiss5GJISMu9-8lyo0A5/view?usp=sharing
Twitter Handle: @TeachtoLeadME

Emily Gribben
Educator Effectiveness Coordinator
Maine Department of Education
(207) 624-6748