Math4ME Accomplishments and Update

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services is pleased to report the accomplishments of the Math4Maine (Math4ME) project, and announce plans for scaling up. Currently, the initiative is concluding the second year of implementation and planning for year-3.

Maine’s State Systematic Improvement plan, a requirement of the federal Office of Special Programs, Math4ME is designed to implement evidence-based professional development to improve math proficiency of students with disabilities in grades 3-8 and to improve instructional practices of teachers of these students.

Math4ME training is grounded in hands-on activities and interactive professional learning experiences that allow participants to gain a deeper understanding of core concepts of mathematics and strategies. Program content includes operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals, and algebraic and geometric reasoning; problem solving skills and processes; and assessment, diagnostic probes, and formative feedback.

The Maine DOE developed a 5-day training module that includes a 3-day summer training and 2 training days during the school year. Throughout the year, teachers receive support from the Department, differentiated according to teacher experience in the program. All teachers receive support cycles, which include classroom observation and written feedback. In addition, participants have access to many resources, including a Math4ME Informational Padlet Website and a monthly newsletter.

Over the last two years, the project has trained two cohorts that comprise 34 teachers, 1 teacher mentor, and 3 district math coaches. These participants represent 17 schools from 7 School Administrative Units (SAUs).  To date, findings on the effectiveness of Math4ME on student and teacher performance has been positive. Year-1 student data shows that students taught by a Math4ME-trained teacher performed better on the Maine Education Assessment for math compared to students who were not taught by Math4ME trained teachers. In addition, teacher surveys and evaluation results indicate that the training has had a positive impact on teachers’ knowledge and equipped them with multiple ways to represent mathematical ideas.

Math4MEFeedback from Math4ME participants and an administrator include:

“The Math4ME work has allowed me to view math in a whole new way. I find that I am less focused on a student’s ability to solve a problem correctly and more focused on understanding and exploring that student’s decision making process in solving the problem. This allows students to understand and appreciate the work they do in class, as well as give them the real-world skills they will need in the future. It has also helped me to evolve as a teacher, to take a step back and ask myself what I want students to get out of a lesson. I would highly recommend the Math4ME program to all. – Shannon Wooten, Teacher, Greene Central School


“Math4ME has trained me how to strategically question students in order to get them thinking mathematically.  Math4ME training and resources provide the insight teachers need to encourage mathematical behaviors such as logical thinking, testing conjectures, and meaningful reflection while problem solving.” – Bridgette Ortiz, Teacher, Bowdoinham Community School


The feedback from my teachers has been extremely positive. They love having the coach come into their classroom to observe and offer feedback. The rich 1-on-1 discussions about their mathematical teaching practices that followed the lessons were some of the best professional development they have ever experienced.” – Danielle Harris, Principal, Leeds Central School


A Cohort 3 training is scheduled for August with teachers and coaches from returning schools as well as participants from three new schools from two SAUs. The Office of Special Services will continue to support scale up of Math4ME by building the infrastructure and capacity needed to improve math proficiency for Maine children with disabilities and improve the instructional practices of their teachers.

For more information, please contact Jayne Chase (jayne.chase@maine.gov) or Cheryl Tobey (cheryl.tobey@maine.gov).

New ESEA Report Cards & STEM Technology Showcase to be Featured at 2018 Commissioner’s Conference; Register Now

As a reminder, registration for the 2018 Commissioner’s Conference is now open. The conference features an array of sessions catered toward superintendents. This year’s sessions include opportunities to:

  • Get a sneak peak at the new ESEA Report Card dashboard
  • Ask questions and talk about ESSA, and School Improvement
  • Learn more about the budgeting process for Title I/ESEA funds
  • Learn more about supports and resources available on topics like Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), trauma, attendance, concussion management, and substance abuse
  • Learn more about Certification, including updates about the new online system
  • Learn more about Department initiatives and goals including: pilot programs for early math and literacy, CTE programing and funding, and regionalization opportunities
  • Participate in open forums on the teacher shortage, and on educator effectiveness
  • Listen to panels about workforce development, and about workforce needs and CTE
  • Get hands on experience with current STEM technology at a showcase brought to you by the Maine State Library

See a draft agenda, including session descriptions.

In addition to this year’s breakout sessions, Commissioner’s Conference participants also have the opportunity to enjoy the following celebrations:

  • The Annual Reception Hosted by Apple, Inc
  • An Evening Banquet Dinner
  • Maine School Management Association’s Annual Awards Ceremony

The conference takes place at the Augusta Civic Center on June 27th and 28th.

Find additional resources and information including pricing, the draft agenda, lodging options, further details about registration including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

Register now »

Maine Department of Education Honors the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching State Finalists

On Friday evening, May 11th, Maine DOE honored the six state finalists for the 2017 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST) with a dinner held at the Maple Hill Farm Inn located in Hallowell.  Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, and Michele Mailhot, Maine DOE Mathematics Specialist, planned the evening event honoring Priya Natarajan (Casco Bay High School), secondary mathematics finalist, Ellen Payne (Nokomis Regional High School), secondary mathematics finalist, Sharon Gallant (Gardiner Area High School), secondary science finalist, Sara McQuarrie (Hodgdon Middle/High School), secondary science finalist, Bill McWeeny (Adams School), secondary science finalist, Alyson Saunders (Dexter Regional High School), secondary science finalist.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

The evening began with a social networking event where past awardees had an opportunity to meet the six state finalists. This was followed by dinner, official congratulations from Suzan Beaudoin, Deputy Commissioner, Maine Department of Education, and Martha Harris, Chair, Maine State Board of Education.  The keynote address was delivered by Sandra MacArthur, Director of Educational Outreach for the University of Maine Farmington, and Shannon Larsen, Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at the University of Maine Farmington.

The main event of the evening was the introduction of the six state finalists.  Todd Nelson, retired principal and author, spoke on behalf of Bill McWeeny,  Mary Whitten, science teacher, Gardiner Area High School, spoke on behalf of Sharon Gallant, Mary Harbison, principal, Hodgdon Middle/High School, spoke on behalf of Sara McQuarrie, Steven Bell, principal, Dexter Regional High School, spoke on behalf of Alyson Saunders, Scott Shibles, Dean of Student Life at Casco Bay High School, spoke on behalf of Priya Natarajan, and Mary Nadeau, principal, Nokomis Regional High School, spoke on behalf of Ellen Payne. All six state finalists were presented with certificates from the PAEMST program by Shari Templeton (Maine DOE) and Michele Mailhot (Maine DOE).

Reminder: Register now for 2018 Commissioner’s Conference – session highlights available

The 2018 Commissioner’s Conference will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, June 27th and Thursday, June 28, 2018. The Maine DOE has been working closely with Maine School Management Association (MSMA) to ensure that this year’s sessions meet the needs of attendees – see conference highlights below.

Find additional resources and information including pricing, a draft agenda, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration, and more on the Maine DOE Commissioner’s Conference webpage.

Register now »

Conference Highlights

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine
Duke Albanese, Commissioner’s Conference Keynote

Fulfilling the Dream of a Prosperous Maine: Getting There Requires a Focus on Education and Effective Leadership for Learning, Citizenship, and Opportunities for All Maine Students”

Finding widespread prosperity has been difficult for our state. Although Maine presents abundant opportunities to thrive and prosper as individuals and communities, pockets of vibrancy have often been limited even during the best of times. To turn the tide and make our state a great place to live and prosper, high quality education is the key. We have the scale and wherewithal to build a world-class early childhood through higher education system focused on equity and enriching learning opportunities for all students. What we need to achieve this is strong, effective, creative, and resourceful leadership. Can Maine do it? Yes. Who will lead?

Duke Albanese will serve as Commissioner Keynote, in addition to conducting a break-out session.

Cracker-Barrel Session
Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff

Come to this informal session and get a chance to talk one-on-one with Commissioner Hasson and Maine DOE staff, including Department leadership. The Department will also have available some insider updates for superintendents.

Certification: What You Need to Know
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide participants with a review of important changes resulting from recent revisions to certification laws; clarification on common misconceptions about certification requirements and processes; an opportunity to discuss communication strategies for certification; and a question and answer segment on the new online system.

Legislative Update
Maine DOE Staff

The Maine Legislature adjourned its Second Regular Session sine die on May 2, 2018. While education bills remain, including LD 1869 –”An Act To Establish the Total Cost of Education and the State and Local Contributions to Education for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and To Provide That Employees of School Management and Leadership Centers Are Eligible To Participate in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System”—which are preserved to be carried over to any special session of the 128th Legislature, others were passed and became law are either in effect now as emergency legislation, or will become law on Wednesday, August 1. This session will include a summary of enacted educated-related legislation, the status of bills preserved by the joint order, and a progress report on the status of rulemaking.

Open Forum: Addressing the Teacher Shortage
Open Forum lead by DOE staff

What can Maine do to address the teacher shortage while strengthening our educator workforce? In this open forum session, we will discuss barriers to teacher retention and recruitment and what is being done across the state to overcome these obstacles. Together we will collaborate on ways that all stakeholders can work together to build our educator workforce and promote the teaching profession.

Put your Collaborative Project on the Regionalization Map
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will learn about the EMBRACE II initiatives, including lessons learned; be introduced to the process of forming a regional service center; learn about the upcoming grant opportunity offered by the Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Educational Services (FEDES); brainstorm possible regionalized services and programs; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

We Have Formed a Regional Service Center: Now What?
Maine DOE staff

During this session, participants will provide input for the Department as to what regional service centers and executive directors need for support; gain an understanding of the monitoring and reporting requirements for a regional service center; receive legislative updates that directly impact regional service centers and their funding; and have an opportunity for questions and answers.

Panel: Preparing Kids for Maine’s Workforce
Maine DOE staff and panel of industry representatives

What are employers looking for? What are students prepared to offer? What can Career and Technical Education (CTE) provide for industry and students? In this session, a panel of industry representatives will share what they look for in an employee. We will discuss and seek ideas for how Maine’s CTE programs can help create more opportunities for students and meet workforce needs.

PreK with Staying Power!
Maine DOE staff

High quality prek has great potential; but research shows that to truly lessen the achievement gap, certain program elements must be present before kindergarten or the gains will “fade out” in the early elementary grades. What are the goals for a prek program in your district? Are you seeing these goals realized in child outcomes over time? Come hear about the prek programs that include the research-based elements and the end-of-prek outcome data that predicts 5th grade reading, writing, and math scores.

Improving K-3 Literacy Achievement by Building Teacher Knowledge
Maine DOE MoMEntum staff and educators from pilot schools

The Department is implementing an early literacy/technology learning pilot project, MoMEntum K-3 Literacy, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning. This session will provide an overview of the initiative; details about the professional learning, including intentional instruction, opportunities for student practice, technology integration, and assessment that informs ongoing instruction; preliminary findings related to student achievement; and lessons learned so far. During this panel discussion, participants will have the chance to hear from and ask questions of those leading the program as well as participating educators and school leaders.

Closing the Achievement Gap with Early Math Education
Maine DOE staff

Two years of assessing current state data shows an increasing gap in the percent of grade 3-5 students statewide who meet or achieve state expectations in mathematics as compared to ELA/literacy. The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program, in schools located regionally across Maine. This initiative provides high-quality professional learning to build teacher knowledge and skills to impact student learning of mathematics. This session will provide an overview of the initiative, including details about structure of the professional learning, the focus on numeracy concepts, and implications for PK-4 learning and assessment applicable to all schools.

Work Session: 2018/19 School Approval Requirements & Process
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide guidance on the 2018-19 school/district approval requirements and the new more streamlined process in the Department’s NEO system. Superintendents will have the opportunity to begin completing the approval process at this session – bring your laptops.

Open Forum: Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth
Maine DOE staff

This session will provide district leaders an opportunity to share their PEPG triumphs and tribulations. Do you have a strategy that is working well in your district that you would like to share with others? Do you have a need for greater support in certain areas such as observations and feedback? Is your school or district interested in improving the quality of the Student Learning Objectives? Participation, creative strategies, and a willingness to share is encouraged in this session!

Raising the Bar for Technology in Maine Schools
Jim Moulton, Apple Inc.

How do we help our students learn today and prepare them for a rapidly changing world? A driving force behind this change is technology. It affects the way we communicate, the way we work, the way we live day-to-day. It also empowers every individual—and every learner—to create amazing things and make a difference in the world. But first, we need to raise the bar for what’s expected, and what’s possible, for learning with technology.

Substance Abuse Resources
Maine Center for Disease Control

The presentation will provide an overview of Maine Prevention services, specifically substance and tobacco use prevention including electronic nicotine delivery systems/vaping to school leaders. The information provided will be useful for school administrators as they consider policies, practices and education necessary to protect and optimize the health and safety of students. Materials, resources and a list of community prevention providers who can support school prevention efforts will be available at this presentation.

Elevating Concussion Education: How to Address Everyone
Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI), Colby College

As schools prepare for the start of each year, it’s the perfect time to update concussion education. To ensure that head injury is addressed with each population in the district, MCMI has tailored plans to educate all stakeholders. Everyone in your district will benefit from tailored and current concussion information. Attend this session to learn more about how to get involved.

Other possible sessions:

  • Steve Levesque, and Glenn Cummings – Educating the Workforce Panel
  • Adult Education
  • Budget Methodology of State/Local Funds for ESEA
  • ESSA: School Improvement for All
  • Early Math Education
  • Post-secondary enrollment and credentialing options
  • Truancy
  • Trauma

PRESS RELEASE: Maine’s reading and mathematics test scores at or above national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Augusta – Maine’s fourth and eighth graders scored at the national average or higher on the recently released 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests of Reading and Mathematics.

NAEP highlights the statewide academic performance for all students, as well as demographic groups including race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status. The test is administered every other year to students in all 50 states, and does not include results for individual students, schools, or classrooms.

Maine’s scores and key information:

  • Maine students scored at the national average or higher, consistent with previous years.
  • Maine students did not show any significant change in performance in either mathematics or reading in grades four and eight when compared to the results in 2015.
  • Reading scores indicate a gender gap at the 4th and 8th grade levels with boys performing lower. The gender achievement gap appears to be increasing as students get older.
  • Math scores did not indicate a gender achievement gap.
Average Scale Scores
NAEP Scores National Public 2017
Assessment Area and Grade 2011 2013 2015 2017
Math Grade 04 244 246 242 240 239
Math Grade 08 289 289 285 284 282
Reading Grade 04 222 225 224 221 221
Reading Grade 08 270 269 268 269 265
 (Scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.)
For a detailed look at the each of the state’s scores including Maine, visit NAEP’s website.

“Maine students face unique challenges today that can have an impact on their learning. While I am pleased that our students are maintaining performance, the Department will continue to focus on effective strategies to improve achievement of mathematics and literacy in all grades,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr.

“In addition to the Department’s MoMEntum Literacy Pilot program, we are also embarking on a similar strategy called Numeracy4ME to support schools in their efforts to improve student achievement in math. It is my hope that we can expand these programs as we continue to develop them,” he added.

More information about the MoMEntum and Numeracy for ME pilot programs can be found at the following links:

NAEP scores are only one of many measures of the achievement level of Maine’s students and should not be used in isolation from other data.  The Maine Educational Assessments, such as the eMPowerME, Multi-State Alternate Assessment, and SAT, also provide valuable information about the knowledge and skills of Maine’s students.  Additionally, formative assessments and locally developed academic measurements are essential parts of a school’s instructional program.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.  Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same sets of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time with respect to a specific set of learning goals.  As noted above, however, as standards and goals for learning evolve and teachers emphasize new content, and perhaps deemphasize other content, this stability means NAEP may not be able to adequately capture learning with respect to new standards.   NAEP does provide results on subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., all fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students).


The contents of this paragraph were retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center of Education Statistics website http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/about/
Media contact:
Rachel Paling, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education
Rachel.paling@maine.gov